711.672/550: Telegram

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


3. Department’s telegram No. 10, January 18, 7 p.m. and my telegram No. 1, January 22, 11 a.m. [8 p.m.] At today’s conference, as [Page 775]well as at the one which took place on January 22, I found Tewfik Rouschdy Bey very cordial. He showed the best of good will and said that he was in accord with the Government of the United States in desiring to maintain in the future the cordial relations that have existed during the past few years. On behalf of his Government and himself he likewise expressed appreciation of the message which I conveyed to him pursuant to the Department’s instructions.

During both conferences we made it entirely clear that the questions which were raised by me, and in a lesser degree by the Minister, together with all discussions, were personal, without commitment, being intended primarily for the purpose of developing every aspect of the situation without prejudice to the final issue.

Below is a recapitulation of the suggestions which were made today by the Foreign Minister:

As the most practical and immediate solution he proposed the negotiation of a simple treaty of amity having the general character of the treaty which was concluded with Denmark, January 26, 1925. See High Commissioner’s despatch No. 1994, July 19, 1926, enclosure.14 He made the following points in developing this suggestion:
He is persuaded that with a document of this character he would be able to secure from the Assembly the authority to renew the existing modus vivendi between the United States and Turkey or to negotiate a new arrangement which would aim to continue the status quo for a given time, for instance, one year.
That the matter of ratification could be met at any time mutually convenient to both Governments.
That while provision would be made in this treaty for negotiating separate conventions respecting commercial, consular, and residence relations, no time or date would be specified therefor. His proposal also indicated a willingness to [include in?] the convention with Denmark in supplement of the stipulations as they appear in the treaty form referred to in paragraph (1), such provisions for negotiating other conventions automatically carried in the treaties of Lausanne, August 6, 1923, specifically a treaty of extradition and a naturalization convention.
Following the signing of such a treaty by duly designated plenipotentiaries, and pending the exchange of the ratifications, the Government of Turkey would send to the United States a diplomatic representative having the same rank now enjoyed by the representative of the United States in Turkey, while reserving to the latter the same position and ascribing to his position the same character as at present; the understanding being that as soon as possible after the exchange of the ratifications Ambassadors should be accredited on the basis of those ratifications.
He declared to be not feasible any exchange of notes which provided for a modus vivendi for other than commercial relations in the interval or which such a treaty should rest in force pending the negotiating of separate conventions embracing those subjects in a specific emergency.15 In connection with his proposal he stated that conditions affecting residence, consular, and other relations should be in conformity with international usage, and that this principle in practice would take the form of a continuation of the regime under which these relations had been placed pending the ratification of the Treaty of Lausanne.
When he had been acquainted with the technical possibility of resubmitting a treaty to the United States Senate and was approached regarding his attitude in connection with a possibility thus theoretically raised, he was evasive, but made it absolutely clear that his preference was with the proposal for a treaty like the one described in paragraph (1), and that the attitude which he entertained toward the one procedure was analogous with that for the other. He emphasized his preference, however, by characterizing the procedure he had elaborated as being both more expeditious and practical.
Regarding the question of the resumption of formal diplomatic relations as outlined in the Department’s instruction, the Minister’s reaction has always been most emphatic. He holds firmly to the viewpoint that there can be no resumption of relations involving the appointment of Ambassadors without an exchange of ratifications of the treaty of amity, which he has suggested, or another treaty making special provisions for diplomatic relations.
The impressions which I gained from our interview January 22 of a prearranged plan supposed to have been reached by the [Page 777]Government of Turkey were confirmed during today’s negotiations. They were substantiated further by a telegram which was sent to the Foreign Minister that the moderate tone of the press is due to instructions coming from the Government of Turkey.
Although Turkey’s point of view may be slightly influenced by a wounded self-esteem, nevertheless, I am convinced the program of the Minister for a simple treaty of amity is essentially dictated by the desire to be definitely released from our treaty which embraces certain provisions which the Government of Turkey is very reluctant to accord countries which are now negotiating consular conventions.
The Foreign Minister and I agreed that, pending my receipt of instructions from the Department after which we would again confer, a complete status quo should be maintained. Please instruct me whether or not I should make further attempts to have the Government of Turkey agree to the resumption of diplomatic relations. I will then be ready to make my recommendations.

  1. Telegram in two sections.
  2. Neither despatch nor enclosure printed; the pertinent articles of the treaty read as follows:

    • Article 2. The High Contracting Parties agree to establish diplomatic relations between the two States in conformity with the principles of international law. They agree that the diplomatic representatives of each of them shall, subject to reciprocity, receive in the territory of the other the treatment recognized by the principles of general international law.
    • Article 3. The High Contracting Parties agree that consular and commercial relations between their respective countries and also conditions for the residence and settlement in their respective territory of subjects of the other Party shall be regulated by conventions to be concluded in conformity with the principles of international law on a basis of complete reciprocity. (League of Nations Treaty Series, vol. xxxvi, p. 317.)

  3. The above passage is evidently garbled. An excerpt from Admiral Bristol’s confidential diary of Jan. 24, 1927, copy of which was enclosed in despatch No. 2187, Feb. 28, 1927, from the Counselor of Embassy in Turkey, reads: “The Admiral then enquired, making it plain that he again sought an opinion and not a decision, as to the possibility of exchanging notes providing for a modus-vivendi for consular, residence and other relations, in supplement to a prolongation of the modus-vivendi now in force as regards commercial relations, until such time as separate conventions on those subjects could be negotiated. The Minister responded that no formal arrangement covering those matters would be practical, except regular conventions.” (File No. 867.00/1955.)