711.672/124: Telegram

The Special Mission at Lausanne to the Secretary of State


548. This morning Ismet Pasha called upon me. He touched upon some matters which have yet to be settled between the American and Turkish experts, and he then went on to ask whether it might not be desirable to leave all unsettled questions for future negotiation and to sign a treaty covering settlements already reached. I said in reply that our views did not accord with this suggestion; that, as Ismet himself had stated in his original note, both parties to the negotiations had set out with the sincere intention of reaching a conclusion, and that we were prepared, therefore, to remain at Lausanne for as long as might be required for that purpose. We had been waiting for nearly two weeks, as I also pointed out, in expectation of his entering upon direct negotiations with us, and we had so intimated repeatedly. In reply Ismet said that until a settlement had been reached he had every intention of remaining at Lausanne.

The following subjects were then taken up by Ismet: capitulations, modifications in the judicial declaration, claims, the Straits, language, naturalization, most-favored-nation treatment. To which I added: sanitary declaration, minorities, and taxes. I also made a reservation regarding text of articles already framed, especially those relating to consuls, until final instructions should be sent to me from the Department.

No concessions were made on either side, and the conversation was, therefore, little more than a full exchange of views. It was useful, however, in bringing directly to Ismet’s understanding the full weight [Page 1106] and cogency of our views on the various questions, and I did not fail to point out that in order to meet the wishes of the Turkish Government our experts had already made very substantial concessions. Ismet suggested that the experts meet again this afternoon to examine, on the basis of our conversation, the other questions which are still unsettled.

Mustafa Cherif and Tahir met with Shaw, Dolbeare, and Turlington this afternoon and debated for four hours, but without reaching any useful conclusions. The Turks agreed in the end to telegraph once more to Angora regarding article 2.90 They pressed us again to postpone the matter of naturalization. They declared that they were willing to consider only claims growing out of requisitions. They agreed to give further study to our proposal on the article relating to the Straits.

In discussing the capitulations the Turks stated that since they had already agreed with the Allies regarding abrogation and were about to make similar agreements with other capitulatory powers, they could not now commit themselves to our view and include in the treaty a recognition of the principle that the effective abrogation of the capitulations takes place only upon ratification of the new treaty. They would make any practical settlements with us as touching the duration of the capitulatory regime; they would for example assent to a compromise similar to that made with the Allies in the matter of back taxes.

Under express instructions from Ismet the Turks refused to discuss the minority articles. They also declined to make any alterations in the declaration on the administration of justice. The American representatives informed the Turks that they were convinced nothing would be gained by drafting a treaty which left fundamental questions for later settlement and which as a whole would be unacceptable in the United States. Tomorrow Ismet will renew his discussions with me and I shall not fail to make it clear to him that we are dissatisfied with the Turkish attitude.

  1. See draft for long form of treaty, p. 1080.