711.672/553: Telegram

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


6. (1) During conference today Tewfik Rouschdy Bey restated that the Government of Turkey agreed in principle to an exchange [Page 786]of notes providing for a resumption of diplomatic and consular relations, the understanding being that at the next meeting drafts of notes would be submitted for discussion. On his own initiative Tewfik Rouschdy Bey raised again the question of a treaty of amity, and stressed the point that the negotiation therefor within a specified period of time should be provided for in the proposed note.

(2) Will the Department please refer to the last and next to last paragraphs of its telegram No. 1, January 23, 9 p.m., and the last sentence of paragraph 2 of its telegram No. 3, January 27. I intend to endeavor to salvage the Lausanne Treaty, but should the resumption of diplomatic relations as desired by the Department be jeopardized by efforts to reconsider the treaty, I shall adopt such means as I find necessary to this end.

I have already informed the Minister for Foreign Affairs that a treaty of amity would probably be as difficult to get ratified as the Lausanne Treaty. I shall employ every argument to induce him to accept a protocol or a note as a full substitute for such a treaty. I am convinced, however, that he will maintain tenaciously the stand he has taken on this point; and in case of absolute necessity I propose to offer instead the commencement of negotiations for a commercial convention which, of course, would amount to a renunciation of the Lausanne Treaty. As I see it, with a protocol in force and an Ambassador at his post, to submit for ratification a treaty of amity providing for the resumption of diplomatic relations once they had been resumed, would be an anomaly.

In view of these considerations, it is my opinion that if we expect the Minister for Foreign Affairs to give up the Lausanne Treaty, we must be prepared to offer him something in its place. As a possible acceptable substitute, I propose the negotiation of a commercial convention, which sooner or later must become a desirable step toward the regularization of our relations with the Government of Turkey. In addition, this should supply the Minister for Foreign Affairs with the basis which he insists is necessary to procure the authority of the Assembly to conclude a provisional commercial arrangement until a commercial treaty is ratified.