811.20 Defense (M) Turkey/96: Telegram

The Chargé in Turkey ( Kelley ) to the Secretary of State

986. Your 481, September 30. Present status of chrome negotiations is as follows:

1.
British Ambassador is presenting today to Prime Minister written proposals regarding purchase of chrome covering following points.
a.
The Turkish Government is informed British Government intends to purchase as provided in chrome purchase agreement of December 23, 1941 all chrome irrespective of grade or location produced in Turkey up to January 8, 1943. British Government assumes accordingly that (1) every ton of ore above ground by January 8 will be declared and sold to British Government on terms stated in purchase agreement, (2) every facility will be given representatives of British Government for inspecting, measuring and sampling stocks of chrome and for supervising permanent dumps in order to prevent pilferage and (3) Turk authorities will continue effective cooperation in transporting the ore to accessible ports and in regard to the removal of the ore from those ports. Notwithstanding the specific price laid down in the purchase agreement the British Government is ready as from September 25, 1942 to pay for all chrome ore hitherto undeclared whether already in stock or newly produced between that date and January 8, 1943 the same sliding scale price as that offered by German Government for chrome purchased under the Clodius agreement. (This notification represents a confirmation in writing of what the British Ambassador has already informed the Turks orally.)
b.
As regards the purchase of chrome in 1943 and (four) [1944] British Government proposes that for every ton of ore delivered to the Germans between January 8, 1943 and December 31, 1944 in virtue of the existing obligations of Turkey under the Clodius agreement a ton of equal grade and accessibility shall be delivered pari passu to Great Britain. This is stated to mean that the British Government during that period will receive as much ore as German Government. All surplus ore after the completion of aforementioned deliveries mined between January 8, 1943 and December 31, 1944 shall be reserved for British Government. Turkish Government shall not refuse to sell to Great Britain or issue export licenses for chrome on ground of any hypothetical obligation to deliver chrome to Germany against some future delivery of war material or goods by Germany to Turkey. (The British Ambassador in his oral discussions with Prime Minister proposed that Turkey deliver to Great Britain all chrome over 45,000 tons produced between January 8, 1943 and December 31, 1944. Prime Minister rejected this proposal on ground that Turkish Government was obligated to deliver more than 45,000 tons of chrome to Germany in that period in the event that Germany effected certain deliveries. Hugessen states that in subsequent discussions with the Prime Minister of other possible solutions Saraçoğlu indicated that he would accept a proposal that Turkey deliver chrome to Britain pari passu with deliveries to Germany.)
With regard to the purchase of chrome after January 1, 1945 it is proposed that this matter be further discussed when the question of the deliveries of chrome in 1943 and 1944 has been settled. (As the Embassy has reported to the Department the British Ambassador proposed orally to the Prime Minister that Great Britain purchase the whole of the Turkish chrome output for 3 years starting from January 1, 1945 or for the duration of the war and 1 year thereafter whichever is the less. The Prime Minister stated that he could not agree to this proposal because he had already rejected a German proposal for the purchase of the entire Turkish chrome output in those years. He said that he was prepared to conclude an agreement that would ensure Great Britain 50% or total output in those years but he preferred that matter be left in abeyance on understanding that British Government would have a prior right to conclude an agreement in event of any other party seeking an agreement for Turkish chrome after January 1, 1945.)
2.
British Ambassador discussed chrome negotiations with President Inönü on October 1. He took occasion to refer to certain remarks made by Prime Minister which seemed to indicate Turkish Government questioned right of British Government to purchase all chrome mined prior to January 8 and to point out to President Great Britain’s right in this respect was incontestable and a serious situation would result if chrome which Great Britain was entitled to purchase was withheld from her with a view to delivery to Germany. Hugessen also declared his Government considered it most important Germany should receive no chrome beyond the amount specified in the Clodius agreement and observed in this connection that chrome was the touchstone of Turkey’s attitude towards Great Britain. The Ambassador said that his Government noted with concern recent indications of a tendency to develop closer economic relations between Germany and Turkey and he expressed the hope that these relations would not undergo any further expansion. Hugessen states that the President’s attitude was a most friendly and sympathetic one. He said that he understood the British position and desired to help in every way possible.

Kelley