711.672/445a: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the High Commissioner in Turkey (Bristol)

26. In an address delivered today in New York at a luncheon of the Associated Press, the Secretary of State made the following reference to the Turkish Treaty:

“Our Treaty with Turkey has recently been the subject of much comment. I do not propose, and indeed it would not be fitting at the present time for me to discuss this Treaty in detail. The criticism which has been directed against this Treaty has been negative, advocating rejection but proposing no alternative course of action. This Government cannot conduct its foreign policy with negatives. We must deal with each situation as it arises in a constructive way with a [Page 976] view to the development of friendly relations between this and other countries. Thus, in considering our relations with Turkey and in our negotiations with the Turkish Government we have at no time departed from a traditional, a typical American policy. We have endeavored to afford proper protection to all legitimate American activities in Turkey; we have never thought of sacrificing one category of duties or one group of activities to some other category or group. We are aware of all the sufferings of some minority races in Turkey in the past years; we have not forgotten those actions and we do not by this I treaty in any way condone them. We have not, however, approached our study of present day Turkey from the point of view of stultifying pessimism. On the contrary, we have noted with sympathy and approval definite signs of progress in that country. I do not believe that radical changes can be effected over night but enough has been done in Turkey recently to justify us in taking a positive and constructive attitude. We cannot of course aid these minorities or different races or American interests in Turkey by simply refusing to do anything, We will have more influence in behalf of American interests and those things dear to American opinion if we pursue the policy of this Treaty than if we remain entirely aloof. In elaborating upon our relations with Turkey we have constantly been aware of certain limits placed upon our action by traditional American policies sanctioned by emphatic expression of American public opinion. With respect to minorities in Turkey, for instance, in justice to our people and in justice to the minorities themselves, I have steadfastly refused to talk as though we were willing to make commitments which we had reason to believe this or any administration would never be authorized to carry out. It has been the policy during the entire history of this country not to guarantee the interests of foreign minorities in independent foreign states, but I may say generally that our ability to be helpful in any respect will be jeopardized if we have no treaty relations.”