Memorandum of Conversation, by Mr. George V. Allen of the Division of Near Eastern Affairs

During the course of a conversation with the Ambassador34 today, he said that considerable notice had been given in the press of Lend-Lease shipments from the United States to Turkey. He said that, as a matter of fact, not one thing had been given Turkey by the United States up to the present time for which Turkey had not paid in full or had not obligated itself to pay in full, in money.

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I told the Ambassador that I was very greatly surprised at his statement and reminded him of the very considerable amount of arms, ammunition, and other supplies which we had transferred to the British Government under Lend-Lease for re-transfer to Turkey. The Ambassador said that it was his very definite understanding that the value of all of this material had been charged by the British Government against a sterling credit advanced by the British Government to Turkey in 1939.34a He said that the Turkish Government was repaying this credit to the British Government in goods or in cash, the latter in semi-annual payments, and that the entire debt, representing the value of what Turkey had obtained from Great Britain and what she had obtained from the United States through re-transfer, was drawing interest at six percent.

I told the Ambassador that certainly the officials of the American Government did not understand that the Turkish Government was being charged for the supplies accorded the British for transmission to Turkey under the Lend-Lease Act and that the subject was one which should be clarified immediately. The Ambassador said that he hoped that something would be done to clear it up and that he was confident that the Turkish officials in Ankara did not understand the situation clearly.

  1. The Turkish Ambassador.
  2. Presumably this refers to the £25 million credit authorized in Article I of the “Special Agreement” concluded between Great Britain, France and Turkey at Ankara on October 19, 1939, concurrently with the signing of the Treaty of Mutual Assistance of the same date; for text of the “Special Agreement,” see League of Nations Treaty Series, vol. cc, p. 173.