The Ambassador in Turkey (Skinner) to the Secretary of State

No. 631

Sir: Apropos of the Turkish request for a reconsideration of the Convention relating to the regime of the Straits recently laid before the Council of the League of Nations by Dr. Tevfik Rüstü Aras, President of the Council and Turkish Foreign Minister, I am told that when Dr. Aras returned to Turkey a day or two ago and encountered the French Ambassador,14 he brought up the matter, saying that he wished to see him in order to remark that during the session of the Council Turkey had supported the French position with respect to Germany (notwithstanding that Turkey had been Germany’s ally during the Great War) and he therefore hoped (and I surmise that he added—expected—) that France would recognize the debt by agreeing to the Turkish demand.

As I may have remarked in an earlier despatch, Turkey particularly dislikes the Straits Commission provided for in Article 10 of the Straits Convention, not so much because of anything it has done or can do, as because of its reminder that the narrow waters, after all, are under a sort of foreign tutelage. It may be remarked in this connection that Article 12 of the Convention states: “The United States of America, in the event of their acceding to the present Convention, will also be entitled to have one representative on the Commission.”

I am inclined to surmise that this Straits Convention matter will be kept before the Powers by Turkey until the proposals are definitely accepted.

Respectfully yours,

Robert P. Skinner
  1. Frédéric Albert Kammerer.