711.672/547: Telegram

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


1. Your telegram from Angora, No. 1, January 22, 8 p.m., concluding paragraph. With regard to the information contained in the Department’s recent telegrams as to the circumstances under which the treaty failed to secure the approval of the United States Senate, there is little to add. The final vote in the Senate was practically along party lines, and the explanation of the result is to be found in the domestic political situation, which had little or no relation to the merits of the case. In reply to the specific points set forth in the concluding paragraph of your telegram, the following may be useful to you:

The Democrats will have seven more members in the next Senate, but one should not consider it to be a foregone conclusion that all of these Senators would be opposed to the treaty.
No special provision of the treaty and annexed documents was particularly attacked. In the mind of the opposition the naturalization question appeared to hold a prominent place, but in the resolution of consent to ratification a condition on this subject was included, and did not seemingly affect the final vote materially.
Two reservations recommended by the Foreign Relations Committee and described in the Department’s mail instruction No. 734, April 3, 1926,12 and a condition that the exchange of ratifications should not take place until a convention on naturalization had been made, were included in the resolution of consent to ratification. Since the two reservations are not of major importance, it would probably be unwise to mention them to Tewfik Rouschdy Bey.

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You should carefully keep in mind the following considerations when sounding out the Government of Turkey:

The main objective of our present negotiations is to establish some kind of official relations with the Government of Turkey by an exchange of notes or by the resumption of diplomatic relations, or by a combination of these two means.
If it is possible to attain this objective and at the same time or later make an attempt to revive the treaty, so much the better.
A resubmission of the treaty to the Senate would be contingent, however, upon an agreement among the Democratic Senators to reverse their earlier position and to vote for the treaty without objectionable reservations. The hazy situation set forth in the Department’s telegram No. 14, January 22, 1 p.m., is far from the definite agreement necessary before the President could reconsider a resubmission of the treaty to the Senate.
We should be in a worse situation with Turkey than at present were we to rely exclusively on the possibility of resubmission and that possibility fail to materialize; however, if the resubmission idea is carefully subordinated to the main objective of resuming official relations with the Government of Turkey, we can, if nothing comes of resubmission, at least fall back on those relations.

In summary, we should like to salvage the treaty. However, to make the future of our relations with Turkey dependent upon any such salvaging would be dangerous.

  1. Not printed.