The Ambassador in Italy (Long) to the Secretary of State

No. 607

Sir: With reference to the Department’s instruction No. 242 of June 29, 1934,95 concerning the alleged intention of the Turkish Government to endeavor to obtain a revision of the Convention relating to the Régime of the Straits, signed at Lausanne on July 24, 1923, so as to permit the construction of fortifications in the Dardanelles, I have the honor to inform the Department that as a result of discreet inquiries made with regard to this subject the following information was obtained:

An official of the Foreign Office stated that it is believed that the Turkish Government has accumulated stores of war material immediately outside the unfortified zones which would be moved promptly into those zones in the event of war, but he made no reference to any actual fortifications. The official stated that he was not aware that the Turkish Government had taken any action up to the present, formal or informal, vis-à-vis the Italian Government, looking toward a revision of the Straits Convention, but he added that it was felt such action might be taken at any time. While the official made no statement as to the attitude of the Italian Government in the matter, he ventured to say that it would appear that should the Turkish Government make such a demand, it would be merely asking [Page 976] for the approval of a situation which might be regarded as already practically existing.

Respectfully yours,

Breckinridge Long
  1. See footnote 87, p. 973.