740.0011 European War 1939/9166: Telegram

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

67. [For] Secretary and Under Secretary. I have just been able to confirm from Secretary General of Foreign Office substance your 28, March 14 (which incidentally my Soviet colleague had previously denied).

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It appears that upon returning to Moscow after coming here to see Eden, Cripps33 informed Russian Foreign Office he had found Turks apprehensive lest Russia attack them in event of German attack and suggested giving reassurance. Vishinsky34 accordingly gave Turkish Ambassador formal assurance that in such event Soviet would respect existing nonaggression pact and refrain from any hostile action against Turkey provided latter resisted. Turkish Government expressed gratitude and volunteered precisely reciprocal assurance.35

Numan remarked that reaffirmation of existing obligation added no new element to situation save insofar as it conveyed implication that Russia would be glad to have Turks defend Straits for her benefit.

Repeated to Moscow, Athens, Belgrade.

  1. Sir Stafford Cripps, British Ambassador in the Soviet Union.
  2. Andrey Vyshinsky, Soviet Assistant People’s Commissar for Foreign Affairs.
  3. Similar information was received in telegrams No. 504, March 15, 9 a.m., and No. 523, March 17, 7 p.m., from the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (740.0011 European War 1939/9055, 9096).