711.679 Residence and Establishment/51: Telegram

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


6. Your No. 13, November 19, 9 p.m.

The Department would be willing to regard the suggested preamble quoted in its No. 4, November 10, 4 p.m., paragraph (3), as disposing of all capitulatory provisions in the treaty of 1830 but without disturbing the treaty alien privilege which article I of this treaty accords to Turkish merchants. While the interpretation above would obviate the necessity for you to raise the treaty alien status with the Turks, it is not clear to the Department how the “complicated and embarrassing explanations” can be avoided if the Turks inquire concerning the preamble’s effect in effectually disposing of the 1830 treaty as a whole.
In this connection the Department wishes to refer to your reference (see page 1950 of your diary25) to Zekai Bey’s proposal to include in the proposed treaty a second article26 “to the effect that [Page 870] with the entering into force of this treaty all previous treaties between Turkey and the United States of a similar nature would thereby terminate.” The apparent Turkish willingness to regard the old treaties’ technical validity as extended pending operation of the proposed treaty agreeably surprised the Department. Such a Turkish interpretation would be of great assistance to the United States Government eventually in the presentation of claims against Turkey, because it would prevent the Turks from claiming then that American capitulatory rights in Turkey ended in 1914. Therefore, it is deemed most desirable that you refrain, in your further conversations with the Turks, from arguing against the above interpretation and that you bear in mind that the treaty of 1830 must be disposed of eventually and sooner or later the date of its termination must be agreed upon definitely.
With reference to the Department’s No. 5, November 17, 2 p.m., final paragraph, it is considered by the Department that no useful purpose would be served in proceeding with the negotiations at this time unless signature of the present treaty can be effected with little further delay.
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  2. Quotation not paraphrased.