The Chargé in Turkey (Kelley) to the Secretary of State
[Received 9:43 p.m.]
96. Your 47, February 7, 7 p.m.21 The Minister for Foreign Affairs22 with whom I have twice discussed the matter informed me today that his Government does not feel that it is in a position to send wheat to Greece at the present time. However, if the improvement in the weather continues during the next few weeks the Government expects the peasants to bring more grain on to the market and in such event it may be found possible to release some wheat for Greece. It is emphasized that Turkey at the moment was living from hand to mouth in respect to wheat and that the Government has been having great difficulty in maintaining adequate supplies for the cities.
In referring to conditions in Greece he said that the Turkish Government had agreed to take a thousand Greek children who would be brought to Turkey on the second next return trip of the Dumlupinar. In response to an inquiry he said that this boat (which is sailing today with 2,100 tons of foodstuffs) would continue to be available to transport food supplies to Greece but that the kinds of food shipped would have to vary from trip to trip inasmuch as Turkey was running short of some of vegetables hitherto sent. He said that the Turkish Government realized that [Page 739]the next 2 months would be a very critical time for Greece and was desirous of giving all aid possible.
In view of reports that the present voyage of the above mentioned ship would be the last the British Chargé (who transmitted a personal message from his Government) and the Greek Ambassador made representations to the Minister for Foreign Affairs last Tuesday with regard to continuation of shipment of provision to Greece during at least the next 2 months.