Memorandum of Conversation, by the Acting Secretary of State

The Turkish Ambassador called to see me this morning at his request.

The Ambassador said that he wished most urgently to request, by instruction of his Government, that steps be taken by the United [Page 687] States to simplify and to expedite the procedure by which Turkey might obtain urgently-needed war matériel in the United States.

I said to the Ambassador that this question was now receiving our most urgent and immediate consideration. I said that Ambassador Steinhardt, as soon as he had arrived in Ankara, had cabled the Department fully concerning this question and that of course, as the Ambassador knew from his conversations with Mr. Murray,18 this Government had been giving very favorable attention to the problem for some time past. I said that only yesterday I had received from the British Ambassador some suggestions on the part of the British Government for arrangements which would make it easier and quicker for the Turkish Government to obtain matériel here. I added that these suggestions were now being given attention and that I had asked Mr. Acheson to do what might be best to work out a satisfactory tentative understanding with the British and that as soon as that stage was reached, I would hope to have another opportunity of talking with the Ambassador himself.

The Ambassador made it clear that he trusted arrangements could be entered into under lend-lease directly between the Turkish and the United States Governments so that decisions would be reached solely by those two Governments. I did not discuss this phase of the issue with him and it was, therefore, merely agreed that I would talk again with the Ambassador within the next few days for the purpose of finding a solution satisfactory to all concerned.

S[umner] W[elles]
  1. Wallace Murray, Adviser on Political Relations; formerly Chief of the Division of Near Eastern Affairs.