891.51A/341a: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Minister in Persia (Philip)


52. The Persian Minister called today on the Secretary of State and as directed by his Government asked that influence of Department be exerted to persuade Millspaugh to give up his endeavors (1) to regulate finances of Ministry of War and (2) to hinder railway projects in Persia.

In commenting on the former matter, the Persian Minister pointed out that present ruler of Persia when still Minister of War had caused resignation of foreign military experts; and he represented that if the American Administrator now successfully forced his claims to regulate war budget, ground might be given for revival of subject of military missions by other governments. The Persian Minister’s attention was called to the difference between purely fiscal character of supervision of army budget by the American Administrator and a military expert’s concern with the army itself. It was made clear to Persian Minister that although the United States is of course anxious to have the American Adviser accomplish his mission, yet the Department feels some delicacy in attempting to make suggestions to him on a strictly professional aspect of his duties growing out of his powers as Administrator General. Assurances were given to the Persian Minister, however, that you would be informed of his request in order that you might employ your unofficial influence to allay misunderstandings between his Government and the Administrator General.

The Department expressed its surprise over the second point brought up by the Minister and offered the suggestion that the American Administrator’s manifest diligence in engaging an American engineer and assistants appeared to contradict the supposition that he was opposed to the aspirations of Persia to develop her transportation system.

You will please review the above with Doctor Millspaugh and report by cable the outcome of your conference with him, giving also your own views on the meaning and importance of the Persian Minister’s representations and stating what measures for improving the advisers’ position you would recommend.