The Secretary of State to the Chargé in Turkey ( Washington )

No. 168

Sir: The Department is transmitting under separate cover, for the use and information of the Embassy exclusively, three copies of the Opinions and Report prepared by Mr. Fred K. Nielsen in connection with the American-Turkish claims settlement under the Agreement of December 24, 1923,20 and supplemental agreements21 between the United States and Turkey. For convenience of reference there is quoted below the penultimate paragraph of Mr. Nielsen’s “General Report”, appearing on pages 3–41 of the above-mentioned volume:

“Toward the close of negotiations the Turkish Delegates proposed a settlement in the sum of $1,200,000. This was considered by the Department of State to be inadequate. The sum originally proposed by the Government of the United States, $5,000,000, is considerably more than the sum agreed upon in settlement of all claims, $1,300,000, and much more than the total of the principal sums ascertained by the determination of each of the cases on its merits, $539,844.13, and, further, much more than that sum and interest which total $899,338.09. However, it may be confidently stated, without any apprehension of error, that, after a scrupulously careful examination of each case, the total of principal amounts ascertained represents everything that could possibly be awarded as compensation in the light of evidence and by application of controlling rules and principles of substantive law. It may be added that, in accordance with customary procedure in the treatment of evidence in international claims, application has been given to a liberal practice, which inures to the benefit of claimants.”

It will be observed that the total amount of the awards made to claimants, plus interest, is $899,338.09, whereas the Turkish Government, under the terms of the Agreement of October 25, 1934, agreed [Page 955] to pay the sum of $1,300,000 in thirteen annual installments of $100,000 each in full settlement of claims of American citizens embraced by the Agreement of December 24, 1923. The sum which the Turkish Government has obligated itself to pay thus exceeds by $400,661.91 the amount required to meet the awards which have been made to American claimants.

It is proposed to relieve the Turkish Government of its obligation to pay this excess sum, and with that end in view you are requested to call on the Minister for Foreign Affairs and to hand him a note reading textually as follows:

[Here follows text of note No. 93, September 23, 1937, from the Chargé in Turkey to the Turkish Acting Minister for Foreign Affairs, printed on page 957.]

In handing the above note to the Minister for Foreign Affairs please request him to consider its contents as strictly confidential.

Very truly yours,

For the Secretary of State:
Hugh E. Wilson
  1. Ibid., 1923, vol. ii, p. 1190.
  2. For text of agreement signed October 25, 1934, see ibid., 1934, vol. ii, p. 933; for exchange of notes, signed at Ankara, May 29 and June 15, 1936, see Department of State Executive Agreement Series No. 113, or 51 Stat. 353.