The Ambassador in Turkey (MacMurray) to the Secretary of State
[Received 6:25 p.m.]
220. The Minister for Foreign Affairs last night took occasion to ask me whether I was familiar with my Government’s proposal to the Turkish Ambassador in Washington of a joint Turkish-American démarche to the Government of Iraq as to its reported intention to take steps toward a rapprochement with Germany. Upon my acknowledging myself uninformed he told me that he had at once instructed Münir Bey to suggest that action on the proposal be withheld until he should have had opportunity to ascertain (as he felt he was in an especially advantageous position to do) whether or not there was actual reason to apprehend the development supposed. He feared that this instruction might not have arrived in time to forestall action by the American Government. But he said he wanted me to know (and presumably to report to you) that he had promptly taken up the question with the Iraqi Minister (brother of the Prime Minister) who had immediately assured him that he knew of no basis for the attribution to his Government of any such intention and who had just now confirmed to him on its behalf that it entertained no such purpose. The Minister added that if the Turkish Government had believed there was any substance in the reports in question it would have been more concerned than anybody else because of the fact that this country is now dependent upon the route through Iraq for its importations of necessary war materials.
Repeated to Baghdad.