867.113 Jones and Lamson Machine Co./16

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

No. 169

Sir: I refer to your despatch No. 514 of January 9, 1935, and previous correspondence, in regard to the exportation of arms and munitions to Turkey. I concur in your rough and ready definition of what are not arms and munitions of war. The approval and disapproval by the Department of the extension of credit by the Second Export Import Bank for the exportation of commodities purchased by foreign governments is not, however, based exclusively upon a decision as to whether those commodities are, strictly speaking, munitions of war. There is a question of broader political policy involved. I feel that even when commodities purchased by a foreign government do not fall within any recognized definition of arms and munitions of war, we should as a Government avoid assisting the financing of their exportation when there is danger that, in case of war, this Government could be justly criticized for assisting in the military preparation of one of the parties thereto.

As of interest in this connection, I enclose, for your information, a copy of a memorandum dated March 5, 1935,31 which, after a discussion of the matter between officers of the Department and the Vice President of the Second Export Import Bank, was handed to the latter as an expression of the policy and desires of the Department in the premises.

Very truly yours,

For the Secretary of State:
William Phillips
  1. Ante, p. 313.