Memorandum of Conversation, by Mr. C. Thayer White of the Division of Commercial Policy and Agreements

I informed Mr. Bewley36 that the Department is giving consideration to offering a master lend-lease agreement to Turkey along the lines of our Master Agreement with Great Britain,37 and if we do so we expect to include the following sentence in an aide-mémoire which would be handed to the Turkish Ambassador: “Upon the signature of the agreement the Lend-Lease Administration will transfer from British account to Turkish account upon its books, the record of past deliveries of lend-lease aid to Turkey through the British authorities, and will request the British authorities to change their books accordingly.”

I explained that the Turks have never quite understood lend-lease through retransfer and that we believe that by this method we will make clear to the Turks the obligations which they have previously incurred. However, I said that before making such a statement to the Turks, we thought that we should ask whether the British Government would have any objections. Mr. Bewley replied that he felt sure that there would be no objection, but that he wished to check with his Turkish expert before making a definite reply. He later called to say that he could state definitely that his Government did not object to such a statement. In the course of the conversation Mr. Bewley made the interesting observation: “The British have no books”.

  1. Kenneth Bewley, representative of the British Treasury at the British Embassy.
  2. Signed at Washington, February 23, 1942; for text, see Department of State Executive Agreement Series No. 241, or 56 Stat. (pt. 2) 1433.