867.5151/209: Telegram

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

97. My telegram No. 94 of August 22, 6 p.m. The Turkish Minister of Commerce has advised the Assistant Commercial Attaché that he is determined to clear up the exchange arrears for imports from the United States even though the immediate prospect for further imports from the United States is not bright. The Minister stated that he hoped to clear up by special arrangement the arrears due the Socony Vacuum and liquidate the remaining arrears from free exchange which he expected from cotton already sold to Yugoslavia and possible grain exports to Greece. Although the Minister was very definite as to the possibility of utilizing such exchange for [Page 982] the liquidation of the American arrears, the Exchange Director when queried on this point took a less favorable view.

When asked for his opinion as to the possibilities of Basra–Baghdad–Istanbul route for Turkish-American trade, the Minister was optimistic, nor did he feel that much was to be expected from the Hellenic Lines New York to Istanbul regular ocean freight service much advertised here for some time past.