The Department of State to the British Embassy
Instead of the procedure set forth in the British Embassy’s aide-mémoire of March 13, 1942, an alternative procedure, formulated to meet recent developments in the situation, is suggested for immediate adoption.
The new developments are:
- A formal request has been made by the Turkish Ambassador for direct transfer basis in our dealings with Turkey.
- As was pointed out in the aide-mémoire of March 13, under the present system there is no protection against duplication of orders.
Since elaborate controls have now been established here under the various combined committees and combined boards for processing all requisitions, the question of the direct transfer versus the retransfer system has become a matter of form rather than of substance. Since it is difficult to satisfy the material requirements of Turkey, it seems essential to comply at least with the request for direct transfer procedure. At the same time there is contemplated no change that would in any way compromise or impair the British conception of military operations in the Middle East.
The suggested alternative procedure follows:
The present Coordinating Committee in Ankara will be enlarged to include United States representatives. This Committee will receive and consider all Turkish requirements, both military and civilian, [Page 690] and cable them simultaneously to London and Washington with its recommendations, quoting the number assigned for identification.
The British authorities in London will determine within a limited period of time, the requirements that are to be supplied from United Kingdom sources, and cable to Washington their decision and their recommendations on items which they do not intend to supply themselves.
The United States authorities in Washington will consider the requirements which the British authorities do not undertake to fill from United Kingdom supplies. The United States authorities here will consult with the British and the Turks either jointly or separately.
They will then furnish sufficient information to the Turkish Embassy so that the latter may properly prepare the formal papers required for procuring in the United States the military and civilian supplies.
Requisitions for lend-lease material will follow the prescribed course through the various committees and boards where ample British representation is provided so that the material is under complete joint British and United States control.
If the requisition is finally approved, the material when available will be shipped to the Middle East for delivery to the Turkish authorities there, provided the military situation at the time of its arrival warrants such action.
It is believed that the procedure outlined above takes into account in a realistic manner the exigencies of the situation, and would resolve the complications now existing.
It is hoped that through the extension of lend-lease assistance on a direct transfer basis Turkish wishes would be satisfied and the Turks thereby be encouraged to improve their own procurement machinery by coordinating and synchronizing the various agencies in Ankara into a central commission. This Turkish commission would then be able to collaborate more effectively with the Coordinating Committee after the latter has been expanded to include representatives of the United States Government.