740.0011 European War 1939/8415: Telegram

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

31. For the Secretary and Under Secretary.

I now learn that almost simultaneously with my sending my telegram No. 3033 yesterday the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, to its [Page 285] great surprise, received word that the Bulgarian Government would accept a formula which the Turkish Government had submitted. On that basis an agreement is to be signed tomorrow and published probably the following day which provides, subject to the stipulation that it is without prejudice to the contractual obligations of the several parties, for: (a) mutual nonaggression; (b) cultivation of neighborly relations; (c) intensification of commercial exchanges; and (d) restraint (by implication) upon the tone of the press.
Although I understand the Turks consider that the text fully safeguards their position under the Balkan Entente agreement34 and their treaty of alliance with Great Britain35 there would seem to be reason to apprehend that enemy propaganda may at least plausibly misrepresent Turkey’s participation in such an agreement as an acquiescence in the fait accompli of German military penetration of Bulgaria and even in the purposes thereof.
  1. Not printed.
  2. Formed at Athens on February 9, 1934, among Greece, Rumania, Yugoslavia, and Turkey; for text of treaty, see League of Nations Treaty Series, vol. cliii, p. 153.
  3. Prime Minister Chamberlain announced the Anglo-Turkish agreement in the House of Commons on May 12, 1939; Hansard, Parliamentary Debates, 5th series, vol. cccxlvii, pp. 952 ff. The 15–year mutual assistance pact concluded among Great Britain, France, and Turkey was signed at Ankara on October 19, 1939; for text, see League of Nations Treaty Series, vol. cc, p. 167, or Department of State Bulletin, November 11, 1939, p. 544.