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

No. 144

Sir: Referring to your telegram No. 5 of November 6, 1936, 4 p.m., and the Department’s telegraphic reply of November 19, 1936, 6 p.m., with regard to the desire of the Turkish Government to enter into negotiations for a trade agreement, there is enclosed for your information a copy of a strictly confidential preliminary survey2 with reference to trade agreement possibilities with Turkey.

The recommendation is made in the concluding paragraph of the survey that a “country committee” for both Turkey and Greece be created. A country committee, functioning as a subcommittee of the interdepartmental Committee on Trade Agreements, is charged with the responsibility of doing the technical work in preparation for the negotiation of a trade agreement with a particular country. Each country committee is made up of experts representing the Departments of State, Treasury, Agriculture and Commerce, and the Tariff Commission, and such other governmental agencies as may be in a position to contribute their advice. In view of the fact that it was recently decided to carry out the recommendation to create a country committee for Turkey and Greece, the Department would very much appreciate receiving your considered comment on the possibilities of concluding a trade agreement with Turkey, and suggests that you may find it convenient to use the enclosed survey as a basis for your remarks, without, however, limiting yourself to subject matter covered therein.

You will observe in examining the survey that reference is made to a lack of adequate basic information upon which to appraise prospects [Page 943] for the future development of Turkish-American trade, particularly with reference to advantages which might accrue to American trade from the conclusion of an agreement. In this latter connection it would appear that the Embassy is in a particularly favored position to observe the effect of Turkish customs duties, quotas, foreign exchange regulations or other restrictive measures on imports from this country and the Department will be especially interested, therefore, in receiving your detailed observations on this phase of the matter.

Inasmuch as no announcement has yet been made of intention to negotiate with Turkey, you will appreciate the necessity of handling this matter in strictest confidence until such time as you may be specifically instructed to the contrary.

Very truly yours,

For the Secretary of State:
Francis B. Sayre
  1. Not printed.