811.20 Defense (M) Turkey/124: Telegram

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

1086. Your 532, October 22. After consultation with my British colleague I had a further conversation regarding chrome negotiations yesterday with Minister for Foreign Affairs. I told him that my Government was seriously disturbed by course which chrome negotiations appeared to be taking. It was beginning to look as if regardless of our need for chrome Turkey was in effect reserving all its 1943 and 1944 production for Germany. I emphasized our need of chrome and stated that we expected Turk Government to hold Germany to strict fulfillment of her obligations. Numan said that he could assure me unofficially that Turkey would hold Germany to strict fulfillment of her obligations and that I could so inform you. He would not make any concessions to Germany which would facilitate her obtaining chrome when she failed to fulfill her obligations.

I discussed at length with him situation which would arise if Germany failed to deliver before March 31 entire 55,000,000 Turk pounds of goods specified in Schedule I–a. He confirmed his previous statements that if Germany delivered only part of that amount she would receive only a corresponding proportion of 45,000 tons of chrome. He said that if Germany delivered half of 55,000,000 Turk pounds worth of goods she would receive 22,500 tons of chrome. I said that in such event we assumed that part of 45,000 tons of chrome in which Germany was not entitled by deliveries before March 31 would be definitely lost to Germany. He objected to this interpretation. He said that if Germany delivered after March 31 additional amounts of 55,000,000 [Page 768]Turk pounds worth of goods she would be entitled to receive in payment Turk goods specified in Schedule I including a proportionate amount of chrome. If she eventually delivered entire 55,000,000 Turk pounds of goods she would receive entire 45,000 tons of chrome. During long discussion which ensued on this point Numan refused to accept my contention that Turkey was not obligated to furnish any part of the 45,000 tons of chrome to Germany in payment for German goods on Schedule I–a delivered after March 31.

Numan confirmed to me his statement made to the British Ambassador that he would not conclude supplementary agreement for delivery of 135,000 tons of chrome until Germany had delivered in full the 18,000,000 Turkish pounds of war material stipulated in Schedule I–a. He hoped that Turkey’s chrome production in 1943 would be large enough to permit delivery to United States of substantial amounts in that year. In this connection he observed that in any event we would possess on January 8 more chrome than we would probably be able to transport from Turkey in 1943. He said that we had not shipped during current year very much chrome considering that Turkey’s entire production was available to us. I observed that while we had shipped out of Turkey this year much less chrome than we had hoped, this situation was not the result of any lack of interest on our part in procuring chrome, as he seemed to think, but due to Turkey’s failure to place at our disposal adequate tonnage to move chrome from inaccessible to accessible ports and sufficient railway cars to transport chrome from interior points and the Guleman Mine to seaboard. I took the occasion to point out that the number of ships and freight cars made available to us during present month was very much less than what we had been promised and as a result the movement of chrome in October had been greatly hampered. I urged on him the necessity of our receiving more assistance from Turkish Government in respect to ships and cars for movement of chrome during next 10 weeks. Numan observed that Turkey was confronted with great difficulties in matter of transportation and that economic life of the country was suffering greatly from lack of adequate tonnage and rolling stock.

In concluding Numan said there was no need for anxiety on our part that he would ease up on Germans in connection with execution of Clodius agreement and that you could rest assured that the only chrome which Germany would receive would be that to which she was entitled under the most strict interpretation of agreement. He promised that we would get every ounce of chrome over and above that which Turkey had to deliver to Germans.

Kelley