767.68119/924: Telegram (part air)

The Consul at Geneva (Gilbert) to the Secretary of State

244. Conference on Regime of the Straits. The Polish Minister returning from a private conversation with the Turkish Foreign Minister at Montreux tells me that Aras informed him that Turkey had given direct commercial assurances to the United States and Poland, the inference being that these were the only non-conference powers to which they had been accorded.

The draft convention submitted by Turkey26 makes no mention of a continuing Straits commission. The Bulgarian and Rumanian delegations here expressed to me strongly the view that Turkish governmental formalities at the Straits could in effect be so obstructive and discriminatory as largely to nullify the principle of free commercial transit and that some neutral body of appeal such as a Straits commission is an essential safeguard.

I am reliably informed by delegates of various participating states that the present situation at Montreux indicates that there will be no opposition to Turkish remilitarization, that the commercial aspects as suggested above are regarded as a problem, but that the real question in the Conference will be concerning the passage of war vessels each state represented already taking positions based on individual strategic considerations. In the last respect the real problem of the Conference is seen to lie in an adjustment of the British and Russian positions.

  1. Actes de la Conference de Montreux, pp. 285–287.