711.00111 Unlawful Shipments/232

Memorandum of Conversation, by the Chief of the Office of Arms and Munitions Control (Green)

Mr. E. R. Leonard, Washington representative of the Bethlehem Steel Company and the Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corporation, Ltd., called at my office this morning. In the course of a conversation in regard to various matters, he said that the Bethlehem Steel Company, which is contemplating resuming the manufacture of artillery, had recently been approached by Mr. Stravoudis, President of Namstrad, Inc., who represented himself to be an agent of the Turkish Government. He wished to place an order for 700 mountain guns and a large quantity of ammunition therefor. Mr. Leonard said that he had [Page 355] called to ascertain whether the Government had any objection to the proposed transaction.

I told Mr. Leonard that I had been definitely informed that Namstrad was not a representative of the Turkish Government and that the Turkish Government had no purchasing agent for arms in this country other than the Turkish Ambassador. I said that attempts had recently been made to export arms to Spain in violation of the law by means of false statements that Turkey was the country of destination and I suggested that great care should be exercised by exporters applying for licenses to export to Turkey to assure themselves that Turkey was the country of actual destination. I added that if the Turkish Government really desired to purchase mountain guns and ammunition, licenses authorizing their exportation would be issued without delay.

In Mr. Leonard’s presence I called the Turkish Ambassador by telephone. I told him that I had just been informed that Mr. Stravoudis of Namstrad, Inc., was again representing himself as an agent of the Turkish Government and was attempting to buy arms ostensibly on behalf of that Government. The Ambassador reiterated to me his assurances that his Government had no agents in this country authorized to purchase arms.

Joseph C. Green