711.672/539e: Telegram

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


10. It is the desire of the Department that you proceed immediately to Angora to confer with Ismet Pasha3 and Tewfik Rouschdy Bey.4 You will explain to them that acting under instructions from your Government you have come to Angora to make it clear that the failure of the United States Senate to give its advice and consent to ratification of the treaty should not be considered as a sign that the Government of the United States does not wish to maintain friendly relations with the present Government of Turkey. You will explain that the executive branch of your Government has spared no efforts to obtain the approval of the treaty by the Senate, [Page 767]and that the explanation of the negative action of the Senate is to be found in the domestic political situation in the United States. In this connection you will refer to the failure of this Government to ratify the Versailles Treaty and other treaties negotiated in 1919 at Paris, and indicate that this fact did not prevent the United States from eventually negotiating and ratifying treaties with Germany, Austria, and Hungary. You will terminate this phase of your remarks with an emphatic statement that the Government of the United States wishes to deal in as constructive and positive a manner as possible with the situation which was brought about as a result of the failure to ratify the treaty of August 6, 1923, and that it would sincerely regret any change in the friendly relations which have existed during the past few years between the two countries despite the lack of a modern treaty relationship.

You should say that while access to the markets of the United States is important to Turkish producers, especially of figs and tobacco, and that commercial activity in Turkey is of ever greater interest to American manufacturers and businessmen, and that while the Governments of the United States and Turkey undoubtedly have legal power to meet tariff discrimination with tariff retaliation, the Government of the United States would much deplore any course calculated to lead to such a result. It is confident that with the good will which has guided the actions of both Governments heretofore, the economic interests of both Nations can be preserved and developed on a basis of equality and reciprocity.

After you have used the above considerations to introduce the subject, you should then try to ascertain the views of the Government of Turkey with regard to the situation which resulted from the failure to ratify the treaty and especially with regard to taking one or a combination of the following steps:

An exchange of notes providing for (a) the maintenance of the status quo with regard to the treatment of Turks in the United States and the treatment of Americans in Turkey, and (b) a resumption of diplomatic relations.
An exchange of notes which shall accord mutual unconditional most-favored-nation treatment in customs matters, to be followed, as a separate and further step, by the resumption of diplomatic relations. The United States has made such agreements according mutual unconditional most-favored-nation treatment in customs matters with eleven countries including Brazil, Czechoslovakia, Greece, Latvia, and Lithuania.5
A resumption of diplomatic relations without a previous exchange of notes.

In general, the Government of the United States would prefer to reach an agreement with the Government of Turkey by an exchange [Page 768]of notes prior to the resumption of diplomatic relations rather than vice versa.

In your inquiries with regard to these several steps, you should make it clear that these inquiries are wholly personal and informal and that you are making them solely for the purpose of enabling you to formulate the appropriate recommendations to your Government.

If, in the course of your conversations at Angora, the question of the attitude of the Government of the United States towards the abolition of the capitulations should be raised, you will state that as a practical matter this subject has not arisen during the past few years. In this connection you should also state that the present non-capitulatory regime in Turkey has twice been formally, although by implication, recognized by the Government of the United States, through an exchange of notes, February 18, 1926,6 and July 20, 1926.6a

Telegraph detailed report of your conversations at Angora and your recommendations. Do not leave Angora until you receive further instructions.

It is the desire of the Department that you take every precaution to preserve the confidential character of this instruction.

  1. Turkish Premier.
  2. Turkish Minister for Foreign Affairs. An alternative transliteration for “Rouschdy” is “Rouchdi”.
  3. For citations to these agreements, see footnotes to instruction No. 1162, Aug. 21, 1926, to the Ambassador in Brazil, Foreign Relations, 1926, vol. i, p. 569.
  4. Foreign Relations, 1926, vol. ii, pp. 999 1000.
  5. Not printed. They were substantially the same as those exchanged on February 18, 1926.