867.5151/133: Telegram

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

15. 1. I have made your telegram 12, March 8, 8 p.m., the occasion for a further and more vigorous communication (which I presented to the Minister for Foreign Affairs in person on Saturday) on the subject of exchange in payment for both arrears and current importations. The Minister quite frankly admitted that the Government’s exchange situation is very unfavorable; assured me that an Inter-Ministerial conference the previous day had agreed that the Minister of Finance should do his utmost to satisfy the claims of American trade. He called up the Minister of Finance and insisted upon and [Page 867] obtained his consent to allotting to the payment for importations from the United States pending the coming into force of the Trade Agreement of 80% of the dollars received from the United States (the calculated equivalent of the proportion provided by the proposed Trade Agreement24).

2. The information now available to us indicates that of the approximately $4,300,000 of arrears of which claims were presented up to January 1st (with the exception of those of the oil companies, which continue to receive daily allotments of exchange) there remain unsatisfied approximately $1,300,000. In the course of conversation with Kelley25 and Gillespie26 concerning the trade agreement, Numan Bey,27 although admitting that the approximately $8,000,000 received from American tobacco purchases had been largely expended for other purposes, gave the definite assurance that this balance would be promptly paid off.

3. While awaiting a written reply to my note we are endeavoring to supplement these assurances by more concrete information as to the system of exchange payments to be adopted.

  1. Signed at Ankara, April 1, 1939, Department of State Executive Agreement Series No. 163, or 54 Stat. 1870. For correspondence, see ante, pp. 861 ff.
  2. Robert F. Kelley, First Secretary of Embassy in Turkey.
  3. Julian E. Gillespie, Commercial Attaché in Turkey.
  4. Numan Menemencioglu, Secretary General of the Turkish Ministry for Foreign Affairs.