867.248 Martin Co., Glenn L./22

Memorandum by Mr. Henry S. Villard of the Division of Near Eastern Affairs

Mr. Ibrahim Seyfullah, Secretary of the Turkish Embassy, came in today to discuss the desire of the Turkish Government to purchase a number of B 10 B Martin bombing planes from the Glenn L. Martin Company of Baltimore. Mr. Seyfullah said that the War Department had authorized the sale of these planes to foreign countries and that the Turkish Government had planned to start the purchase of twenty units from the Company beginning in August 1935, but it now appeared that the War Department was purchasing so many of the planes in question that deliveries could not begin on the date mentioned.

Mr. Seyfullah wished the Department to use its good offices in persuading the War Department to authorize the Glenn L. Martin Company to export at the earliest possible date the twenty planes which the Turkish Government intended to order. It was pointed out to him that the War Department had probably contracted with the Glenn L. Martin Company for its entire output of this type of plane and that only surplus units could be disposed of to foreign governments. It was also made clear that the State Department could not in any case “intervene” with the War Department to sacrifice its military program and release the Company from any obligations it might have to furnish the War Department with planes of this type.

I subsequently called up Colonel Burnett of the War Department and he confirmed our understanding of this matter. He said that a number of foreign countries besides Turkey had requested the War Department to release the Martin Company from its obligation to supply bombing planes to the United States Army, but that in each case the representative of the interested government had been informed that for the present the War Department was absorbing the entire output of Martin bombing planes. Colonel Burnett said that there was no telling when the Martin Company would be in a position to sell these bombing planes to foreign governments, but that it would be several months at least before this could occur.

I then called up Mr. Seyfullah and informed him as to the situation as outlined above.