811.20 Defense (M) Turkey/116: Telegram

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

1046. My 1029, October 16. Foreign Minister requested British Ambassador to call upon him yesterday regarding chrome question apparently as result of representations made to Turkish Ambassador in London.

Numan repeated British would have all chrome mined or in stock up to January 8 and he made no reference to Turkish desire to obtain 5000 tons from British stocks. He also stated definitely after 1944 British would have first option to make an agreement and in any event he was prepared to let them have 50 percent of output.

Regarding 43 and 44 Numan declared it was not possible for Turks without breach of faith to decline to deliver any chrome until whole of 18,000,000 Turkish pounds of war material had been delivered and a further agreement signed. He said that first 45,000 tons of chrome must be regarded as becoming due after January 15 in proportion to actual deliveries of German goods under Schedule I. He said that Turkish Government had now decided that no agreement with regard to the delivery of remaining 135,000 tons of chrome would be signed with Germany until the entire 18,000,000 Turkish pounds of war material had been delivered. He said that instructions in this sense had already been sent to Berlin and that he would attempt to maintain this position in the event that Germans raised objections.

Numan made it clear that Turkish Government regarded themselves as obliged by Clodius agreement to furnish 135,000 tons of chrome to Germany if attendant conditions were fulfilled and that consequently it was not possible to give British pari passu treatment in 1943 and 44. Provided German deliveries of war material in Schedule I were made of corresponding value 45,000 tons of chrome must be regarded as a prior commitment to Germany. If quantities above that amount were available before further agreement has been concluded with Germany—that is, before Germany had delivered 18,000,000 Turkish pounds of war material, British might obtain chrome, provided they did not ask for quantity which would preclude [Page 763]Turks from delivering further 45,000 tons of chrome to Germany in 1943 if she on her side fulfilled necessary conditions. If further agreement were concluded with Germany, Numan would regard Germany as entitled to further priority up to quantities specified for 1943 and 1944. On the other hand he promised that the Turkish Government would do everything possible to increase production with a view to British receiving quantity above 90,000 tons produced in 1943 and 1944. Hugessen pressed very strongly for ton for ton treatment from January 8. Numan would not agree to this arrangement and said that Germany must have priority with regard to both the first 45,000 tons and the remainder.

Numan informed Hugessen that no war material at all had as yet been delivered by Germany under Clodius agreement. Total deliveries under the agreement amounted to only 19,800,000 Turkish pounds, of which only 7,000,000 related to Schedule I and therefore affected chrome. He said that delay in delivery of war material was due to changes made by Turks in Clodius specifications. For this reason a delay of about 9 months was inevitable before final deliveries of 18,000,000 Turkish pounds of war materials could take place. Hugessen was given to understand it was out of question for Turkish Government to insist on full delivery before March 31 and some further agreement would have to be drawn up. Numan declared there was no question of facilitating German deliveries by changes in war material specifications. He maintained war materials on original list were of simplest kind and ones which were easiest for Germans to deliver.

Department will note new development in chrome negotiations is decision of Turks not to sign agreement for delivery of 135,000 tons to Germany until entire 18,000,000 Turk pounds of war materials have been delivered. If Turks maintain this position Turk deliveries to Germany in ’43 will probably not exceed 45,000 tons in view of fact Germany will not complete deliveries until end of that year.

Kelley