The Chargé in Italy ( Kirk ) to the Secretary of State
[Received September 6.]
Sir: With further reference to the Department’s instruction No. 242 of June 29, 1934,10 concerning the alleged intention of the Turkish [Page 982] 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 on August 17, 1934, the Messaggero published an editorial with regard to the question of the present régime of the Straits, a summary of which is hereto attached.11
On the basis of that editorial, a member of this Embassy inquired of an official at the Foreign Office about Italy’s attitude in that respect and was informed that “Italy prefers that the control of the Straits be left in the hands of the Turks.” With regard to the French attitude, that official ventured to state that France nominally favors the opening of the Straits but in view of its present relations with Russia he felt that France would not oppose the desires of Turkey.