867.24/236: Telegram

The Chargé in the United Kingdom (Matthews) to the Secretary of State

1415. For Hopkins, Acheson and Stettinius from Harriman. A few days ago Eden20 discussed with me procedure for submission of requirements for Turkey and showed me two cables of March 10 to Halifax which crossed your No. 1000 of March 9 to me. I presume you have been informed of the contents of these cables.

Eden now writes me expressing the hope that Washington will accept the suggested procedure. The cornerstone is the establishment of an Ankara coordinating committee through which all Turkish requests would be received, this committee to include both British and American representatives.

Eden’s letter enumerates the following advantages of this procedure:

  • “(1) Although joint consultation between ourselves and the United States authorities in Washington about Turkish requirements can achieve something, it has been shown to be quite impossible to reach proper decisions without obtaining expert advice from those on the spot in Turkey. It is quite possible to take decisions in London or Washington on such major questions as whether we can spare tanks [Page 689] for Turkey, but most Turkish requirements are for items like boring rigs, constructional steel, copper wire, et cetera, the purpose and significance of which can only be ascertained in Turkey. It seems to us, therefore, that the first essential is to be certain that all Turkish requirements whether for supply in the United Kingdom or the United States are submitted to the coordinating committee in Angora.
  • (2) It seems to us that the suggested procedure is the only one which will avoid duplication of demands and similar confusion, of which we have had experience in the past when we and the French were supplying Turkey as part of a joint policy.
  • (3) It further seems to us that the arrangements for the assignment of munitions and allocations of raw materials can only work smoothly if the requirements of the various allied countries are presented through one single channel.”

I am impressed with the soundness of the general plan proposed, particularly the Ankara committee and hope that you will find it possible to work some procedure out along these lines. I would appreciate being advised of your decision. [Harriman.]

  1. Anthony Eden, British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs.