467.11/726: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Turkey (Skinner)

[Extract]

63. Your 49, November 28, 4 p.m.10 For Shaw. Department is, of course, unable seriously to consider such an offer as suggested in [Page 903]your No. 46 of November 21. Since Department’s original tentative estimate of the claims and indication that settlement might be arranged for approximately $5,000,000, the number of non-Turk claims has increased to more than 500 and voluminous evidence which had been held by claimants awaiting indications of definite action and other evidence subsequently acquired by claimants has been filed, materially increasing the apparent value of the claims. Considerable percentage of the claims represent war requisitions which cannot, of course, be seriously reduced from standpoint of either amount or liability. Department will undertake to cable you, in a few days, total amount of non-Turk claims as shown by present record and to indicate minimum amount this Government would be willing to accept as lump sum settlement. In this connection it should be understood that, whereas this Government is predisposed to the most reasonable course of action possible in the matter of settlement, it is dealing with the rights of American nationals so that the question of compromising liability of Turkish Government involves, in this case, unlike the cases of European war debts, conflict between rights of individual American citizens and companies on one side and the economic convenience of Turkish Government on the other. Turkish Government should appreciate that, in such circumstances, there is not the latitude of possible action which obtains in matters of purely Governmental rights and obligations.

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Phillips
  1. Not printed.