711.672 Straits/37

The Chief of the Division of Near Eastern Affairs (Murray) to the Counselor of Embassy in Turkey (Shaw)

Dear Howland: Now that the claims question13 seems well on the way to settlement it seems to me that we might appropriately consider the question of negotiating further treaties with Turkey, particularly a consular convention and a naturalization treaty.

In this connection you will recall that under the terms of the exchange of notes of February 17, 1927, the Turks agreed to commence negotiations for a naturalization convention within six months after the coming into effect of a consular convention and a convention of establishment and residence.

Accordingly the consular convention must precede the negotiation of the naturalization treaty. We are hesitant, however, to suggest the negotiation of a consular convention until we have cleared up the [Page 984] still unsettled matter of the rights of American vessels and aircraft in the navigation and passage of the Straits. In this connection you will recall our instruction No. 87 of June 29, 1934, and our subsequent instruction No. 119 of September 10, 1934.

In view of the attitude which the Turks appear to have taken toward the Allied Straits Convention we are inclined to believe that they might hesitate at this time to agree to the negotiation of a treaty containing any such provision as that set forth on page 2 of our instruction No. 87. Our reasoning is that since the Turks apparently have in mind bringing the Allied Straits Convention to an end at some appropriate future time they might hesitate at this moment to reaffirm the essential provisions of that Convention in a new treaty with us. In casting about for some way of overcoming this difficulty it has occurred to us that the Turks might be willing to enter into an exchange of notes incorporating an assurance regarding the liberty of navigation and passage in the Straits of American vessels and aircraft. Such an exchange of notes would be a less formal confirmation of the Allied Convention, and unless our Navy Department has some objection I should think it might be suitable. In this connection I assume that there is no doubt that whatever assurances the Turks might be willing to give us would run only for such period as the Allied Straits Convention remains in force.

I should be most appreciative if you would give this question some thought and let us have your views as soon as you conveniently can. As I see the situation the negotiation of both the consular convention and the naturalization treaty now hangs on a satisfactory solution of the Straits problem. Once that question is solved to our satisfaction I see no reason why we cannot go ahead immediately with the negotiation of the other two treaties, both of which, I take it, would be beneficial to our interests.

Sincerely yours,

Wallace Murray
  1. For correspondence concerning negotiation of a claims convention between the United States and Turkey, see pp. 894 ff.