The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Turkey (Skinner)
19. Your No. 4, February 8. Please answer Foreign Office note, using substantially the following language:
I am advised by my Government that in conformity with the claims agreement a full list of American claims, including those of nationals of non-Ottoman origin as well as of Ottoman origin, will be presented to the Claims Committee on or before February 15th and that a member of the Claims Committee and his assistants will sail for Istanbul during the week of February 12th, and will be prepared to begin discussion of the claims on their merits. My Government notes the proposal of the Turkish Government that the Claims Committee shall undertake, by preliminary examination of the merits of the cases, to unite upon a recommendation to the two Governments of an amount which should be made the basis of a lump sum settlement of the claims and that, in the event that such an agreement by the Committee should prove impossible, the Claims Committee shall pass upon the merits of the individual cases, their findings to be considered as conclusive upon the two Governments in those cases in which they agree, those cases on which they are unable to agree to be referred to a sole arbitrator whose decisions shall be considered as final and binding upon the two Governments. My Government instructs me to advise you of its concurrence in this method of procedure.
My Government does not understand, however, that by reference to the questions of nationality of claimants and places of origin of claims it is the intention of the Turkish Government to restrict the competency of the Commission to consider the claims covered by the claims agreement as embodied in the notes of December 24, 1923, and February 17, 1927.