The Ambassador in Turkey (Skinner) to the Secretary of State
[Received February 21.]
Sir: I have the honor to report that I discussed the claims protocol with the Acting Minister for Foreign Affairs yesterday evening, in the course of which I urged him very strongly either to accept our claims protocol text or to submit counter-proposals—which had been promised two weeks earlier by the Minister, who is now absent from the country. I can only say that the Acting Minister promised to go into the subject, but I shall continue to press for action until it is taken.
The Acting Minister again brought up the lump sum settlement previously discussed, remarking that in his opinion it would be much more satisfactory to the two Governments to dispose of all claims by a payment of this character. To this I agreed, stating, however, that [Page 910]the Turkish offer of $500,000 was so far below the amount of the American claims that it had been impossible to give it serious consideration, and I suggested that another and higher offer be made, although I doubt whether this will be done unless we, on our side, indicate a figure which would be acceptable.
I am extremely fearful that the process of examining claims individually and then sending the doubtful ones to arbitration will consume an enormous amount of time before results are finally achieved and, in the meantime, the expenses incurred by both Governments will be very considerable. The Counselor of the Embassy, Mr. Shaw, is now in the United States and perhaps has developed these thoughts in his discussions of the matter with officers in the Department.