711.679 Residence and Establishment/45: Telegram

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


4. Your 9, November 6, 11 a.m.

The Department is not prepared to agree to include in the proposed treaty a statement to the effect that20 “there exist between the two countries no provisions regulating the said conditions (of establishment and sojourn)”, if for no other reason than that the modus vivendi of February 17, 1927, with Turkey21 does, in fact, contain such provisions.
The statement above is not acceptable to the Department, furthermore, because it might imply acceptance by the United States Government of the abolition of the capitulations as of October 1, 1914, the date on which they were declared by the Turks to be abolished.22 This might place the Department in a most difficult position eventually in presenting claims which arose against the Turkish Government in the period of the World War and the period thereafter prior to the negotiating of the American-Turkish treaty at Lausanne.23
While it is considered by the Department that the preamble which the Turks suggested should, without the statement above quoted in paragraph (1), set at rest Turkey’s misgivings over the treaty of 1830, the Department would have no objection to the preamble being strengthened along the following lines:

“The United States of America and the Republic of Turkey, being desirous of prescribing, in accordance with modern international law, the conditions under which the nationals and corporations of each of the High Contracting Parties may settle and carry on business in the territory of the other Party, and with a view to regulating accordingly questions relating to jurisdiction and fiscal charges, have decided to conclude a treaty for that purpose and have appointed their plenipotentiaries:”

If disposal of the 1830 treaty in the manner above is unacceptable to the Turks, the Department would be ready, if you deem it advisable, to add to the present draft’s second article a third paragraph to read as follows:

“The present treaty shall supersede, as between the High Contracting Parties, all treaties concluded between the United States of America and the former Ottoman Empire”.

You will note that the phrase “as between the High Contracting Parties” is necessary because of the fact that the treaty of 1830 still [Page 867] is partially in force as between the United States and certain countries which were formerly part of the Ottoman Empire.
The procedure set forth above in paragraph (3) would be greatly preferred by the Department for obvious reasons, and it trusts that you may be able to have it accepted by the Turks. In the opinion of the Department, this procedure would dispose effectually of the treaty of 1830.
It will naturally be realized that, upon termination in its entirety of the treaty of 1830, the Turks cannot continue to enjoy the treaty alien privilege under the provisions of the Immigration Act of 1924, section 3 (6). Consul Allen may be able to inform you of the number of Turks requesting and receiving visaes since 1924 under the section cited, but the Department is of the belief that there have been few, if any, Turkish Moslems. The Department finds it difficult to believe, in view of the above situation, that the Turks would seriously resent the loss of this privilege (which later may be restored through American legislation) in view of the simultaneous advantage gained by the Turks through this Government’s final recognition of the 1830 treaty’s termination. The only procedure by which this privilege could be reacquired at this time by the Turks would be by a specific provision in the proposed treaty, and this procedure is considered by the Department to be inadvisable.
The Department would prefer to see inserted in the new draft of article I, paragraph 1, before “the same treatment” the words “in all cases”.
The Department perceives no need in the same paragraph for the phrase “it being understood, etc.” which would seem to be covered by the undertaking mutually to accord “the same treatment as that which is accorded or shall be accorded to the most-favored third nation”. Therefore, the Department would prefer the omission of the above phrase and hopes you may be able to persuade the Turks to agree to this.
The Department is ready to accept a three-year period of validity for the present treaty provided, however, the treaty comes into force immediately upon exchange of ratifications and that 12 months’ notice is given of intention to terminate it.
The Department would appreciate having your views regarding the possible effect upon the modus vivendi on general relations of 1927 which the coming into force of the proposed treaty might have. In view particularly of the provisions in the 1927 agreement with respect to negotiating a naturalization convention and establishing a claims commission, the Department would not be ready to regard the as yet unexecuted or unsuperseded parts of the 1927 agreement as affected by the coming into force of the proposed treaty. If you believe that an [Page 868] exchange of notes is necessary to clarify the above matter, the Department authorizes you to follow such procedure.

Although the Department entertains the hope that the proposed treaty may come up for consideration at the forthcoming short session of the Senate, there can not be any certainty of this. You may accordingly wish to bear in mind, as regards the authorization given you in paragraph (4) above, the considerations which were set forth in the Department’s No. 15, March 17, 6 p.m., paragraph (4).

  1. This and the other quotations in this telegram are not paraphrased.
  2. Foreign Relations, 1927, vol. iii, pp. 794797.
  3. See ibid., 1914, pp. 1090 ff.
  4. See general treaty of August 6, 1923, ibid., 1923, vol. ii, p. 1153.