711.672(1929)/11: Telegram

The Ambassador in Turkey (Grew) to the Secretary of State

54. [Paraphrase.] Department’s No. 167, August 2 [6]. My 5, September 8, 7 [6] p.m., from Angora.

The negotiations in 2 plenary sessions and in informal conferences have resulted in the Turkish treaty delegates withdrawing many of the objections they made originally to the Department’s text. The text which follows represents the maximum attainable during the first stage of negotiations in aligning the Turks to the viewpoint of the Department. Some of their amendments, I venture to hope, may be [Page 826] considered as advantageous to us instead of the opposite. The Turkish delegates realize fully the existence of certain exceptional circumstances which must be taken into account in connection with this treaty’s eventual ratification by the United States, and they state that they would not be willing to conclude with any other power a treaty drafted in terms so general. Their principal concern apparently is lest future misunderstandings occur with their own officials unless certain provisions are more precisely phrased, and they state they would rather be charged with overmeticulousness in negotiations instead of with eventual bad faith in the carrying out of the exact terms of treaty obligations. The Turkish amendments are nevertheless open to further discussion, and in the event the Department should find them not acceptable I believe more may be accomplished to meet the wishes of the Department.

In considering these Turkish amendments, the Department may wish to keep in mind the possibility of clarifying some of the points at issue satisfactorily in a procès-verbal or protocol or exchange of notes, should such procedure be deemed as preferable to some of the changes of text proposed by the Turkish delegates.

The alterations proposed by the Turkish delegates in the Department’s treaty text are as follows: [End paraphrase.]

The President of the Turkish Republic possesses the legal title of His Excellency which the Turkish delegation insists must be used in the preamble in both the English and Turkish texts. May it be assumed that the President of the United States will lose nothing in prestige through this discrepancy? Otherwise the Department’s text is accepted in its entirety.

Article 1, line 1, after “export duties” add “including surtaxes and coefficients of increase”.

Line 3, instead of “and other facilities” substitute “and other customs formalities”.

Page 2, line 1, after “treatment”, period instead of semi-colon.

Line 1, omit text beginning “and in the matter of issuing licenses” down to end of paragraph in line 7.

The Turkish delegation requests that these provisions be dealt with in a separate article as they constitute a separate subject. They will be found later in this telegram.

Paragraph 2 accepted in its entirety except for the insertion of the word “therefore” at the beginning, because paragraph 2 is explanatory of paragraph 1.

Paragraph 3 accepted in its entirety except for the insertion of the word “similarly” at the beginning. This seems to be a logical proposal.

Paragraph 4 accepted in its entirety.

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Paragraph 5. Substitute article 7, paragraph 4, of our treaty of 1923 with Germany as follows: “Any advantage, of whatever kind, which either High Contracting Party may extend to any article, the growth, produce or manufacture of any other foreign country shall simultaneously and unconditionally, without request and without compensation, be extended to the like article the growth, produce or manufacture of the other high contracting party.” (The use of the word “concession” is particularly obnoxious to the Turks.)

Paragraph 6, subheading (a), line 2, following “may hereafter accept this” insert “in matters of customs tariff to the commerce of Cuba” et cetera. (The phrase “in matters of customs tariff” appears in the succeeding paragraph (b) which has reference to Turkey. The Turkish delegation insists upon its inclusion in paragraph (a) in order to make the two paragraphs reciprocal.)

Subheading (b), line 2, following “Turkey” substitute “accords or may hereafter accord” for “may accord.” (This change makes the text uniform with that in subheading (a).)

Subheading (b), line 3, following “originating within” substitute “the countries detached from the Ottoman Empire in 1923” et cetera. (This change eliminates the Dodecanese Islands ‘from the provisions of the article.)

Subheading (c), eliminate this paragraph which is to be dealt with in the next article.

At the end of article 1 insert the following provisions as article 2:

Article 2, paragraph 1. “In all that concerns matters of prohibitions or restrictions on importations and exportations each of the two countries will accord, whenever they may have recourse to the said prohibitions or restrictions, to the commerce of the other country treatment equally favorable as that which is accorded to any other country.”

Paragraph 2. “The same treatment will apply in the case of granting licenses insofar as concerns commodities, their valuations and quantities. As an exception to the foregoing the high contracting parties agree to recognize that the following categories of prohibitions or restrictions of importations or exportations will be applied only on condition that they do not constitute a means of arbitrary discrimination between countries possessing identical conditions.” (The Turkish delegation have copied the wording of the standard treaty of the League of Nations.)32

Subheading (a), last paragraph. “Prohibitions or restrictions of a sanitary character designed to protect human, animal or plant life;”

Subheading (b).“Prohibitions or restrictions promulgated in [Page 828] virtue of the application of laws relating to public safety or for moral or humanitarian reasons;”

Subheading (c). “Prohibitions or restrictions applied to products which are or shall be in the interior of the country, so far as concerning production or commerce, the basis of state monopolies or of monopolies controlled by the State.” (The Turkish delegation insisting upon including monopolies as an exception. Both the British and French treaties contain the exceptions in subheading (a), (b) and (c).)

Paragraph 3. “It is understood that the High Contracting Parties will have the right to apply these prohibitions or restrictions to products favored by premiums or subsidies either openly or secretly.” (This is the League of Nations text with reference to dumping.)

Article 3, paragraph (a). “Turkish vessels will enjoy in the United States of America and vessels of the United States of America will enjoy in Turkey the same treatment as national vessels.”

Paragraph (b). “The stipulations of article 3, paragraph (a), do not apply:”

Subheading (1). “To cabotage governed by the laws which are or shall be in force within the territories of each of the High Contracting Parties;”

Subheading (2). “To the support which is accorded or may be accorded to the national merchant marine; nor to the advantages accorded to vessels owned and operated by the state or vessels in which the state has an interest; nor to privileges accorded to associations and societies for nautical sports;”

Subheading (3). “To fishing in the territorial waters of the High Contracting Parties; nor to special privileges which have been or may be recognized, in one or the other country, to products of national fishing;”

Subheading (4). “To the maritime service of ports, roadsteads or seacoasts; nor to maritime assistance and salvage; so long as such operations are carried out in the respective territorial waters and for Turkey in the Sea of Marmora.” (The Turkish law on cabotage covers more than coastwise traffic. The exceptions to national treatment to vessels in paragraph (b), subheading (1), (2), (3), and (4), are obligatory insofar as the Turkish delegation is concerned on account of existing Turkish legislation. These exceptions are contained in the French and British treaties.)

Paragraph (c). “All matters which are not enumerated above shall enjoy most favored nation treatment.” (If the Department prefers I am of the opinion that the Turkish delegation will accept article 9 of the German-American treaty in lieu of paragraph (a), article 3, of this treaty.)

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Article 4, paragraph A. “Nothing in this treaty shall be construed to restrict the right of either High Contracting Party to impose regulations for the enforcement of police or revenue laws.” (This article caused me more difficulty than all the rest of the draft. I trust that it will be satisfactory to the Department to leave article 4 without change. The wording is that of our German treaty.)

Article 5 substitute for article 3. Paragraph 1, second sentence, substitute “Three years” for “five years”.

Line 8, after semi-colon, strike out “provided, however, that the obligations of paragraph (a) of article 2 hereof” and substitute “with the double reserve, however, that the obligations concerning national treatment contained in paragraph (a) of article 3 hereof”.

Line 12, substitute for “inconsistent legislation” the following: “legislation inconsistent with the above-mentioned national treatment obligations”.

Paragraph 2, no change.

Strike out paragraph 3 and insert the following: “Done at Ankara in duplicate in the English and Turkish languages which have the same value and will have equal force this blank day of blank 1929.”

(The Turkish delegation proposed that this treaty be concluded for only one year in view of its brevity and their feeling that a more detailed treaty will eventually have to be negotiated. I persuaded them to agree to three years. They are not disposed to agree to five years.)

Where does the Department desire that ratifications be exchanged?

Please send reply to Constantinople where I shall wait until it is received.

  1. Telegram in four sections.
  2. See international convention for the abolition of import and export prohibitions and restrictions, signed at Geneva, November 8, 1927; Foreign Relations, 1928, vol. i, p. 336.