740.00/985: Telegram

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

47. 1. The Secretary General of the Foreign Office called me in this morning to tell me in strictest confidence that yesterday afternoon the German Chargé d’Affaires had requested an immediate interview with the Minister for Foreign Affairs and had posed to him two questions: first, whether Turkey considered herself menaced and, second, whether the Turkish Government had requested President Roosevelt to send his message to Hitler and Mussolini? To both questions the Minister naturally answered negatively.

2. Numan Bey further said that he construed this démarche to be one of a series addressed to all the countries for which the President’s message had requested assurances and as designed to elicit negative replies to questions which had been so framed as to make it possible for the German Government in the very near future to announce that its inquiries had disclosed that the President’s action was gratuitous and unwelcome to the countries mentioned.

3. He went on to offer the friendly suggestion that the American Government might anticipate this maneuver by immediately addressing to the governments in question inquiries as to their attitude towards the message—which inquiries he felt sure would put our [Page 144] Government in a position to announce that the message had been welcomed. He assured me that in case of such an inquiry being made to the Turkish Government it would promptly reply that it considered the message to be in the interests of world peace.

Repeated to London and Paris.