811.20 Defense (M) Turkey/116: Telegram

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

557. Your 1067 of Oct. 26, 4 p.m. and your 1046 of Oct. 21, 4 p.m.

The Department’s 532 of October 22, 7 p.m. was dispatched before your 1046 arrived.
The Department, altho uncertain as to its ultimate usefulness, welcomes the Turks’ decision you report in your telegram under reference to conclude no agreement with the Germans regarding the further 135,000 tons of chrome until the war material on list Ia has been delivered in full. If the Turks maintain this position, and if 9 months as you estimate will be required for full delivery of the war material, it might well be argued that the Turks are relieved of any obligation regarding the 135,000 lot of chrome by reason of the fact that the documents covering this matter under the Clodius Agreement stipulated that the supplementary compensation agreement for chrome was to be concluded prior to March 31, 1943. Under these circumstances, in the Department’s view, the Turks could consider themselves free to negotiate an agreement with the British or ourselves to provide us with all chrome mined in 1943 and 1944 after reservation of 45,000 tons to cover their maximum chrome liability to Germany, and such an agreement, it appears to us, could be negotiated now subject only to the condition that it would not become operative until April 1, 1943, and then only if by that date Germany had failed to deliver in its entirety the 18 million Turkish pounds worth of war materials stipulated in list Ia of the Clodius Agreement. Such a contract with us appears to be entirely compatible with the Turks’ position that they cannot enter an agreement which would prevent their meeting their contingent obligations to the Germans, and if the Turks mean what they now say, the formula outlined above should be acceptable. Please consult your British Colleague regarding a proposal along these lines, and telegraph the Department your views and his comments. The Department remains convinced of the propriety of continuing to press for pari passu treatment, after the 45,000 tons to which Turkey is definitely committed now of German deliveries made, particularly in view of the informal assurances in this regard you have reported to have been received. The proposal suggested above represents a possible line of attack in the event that the establishment of the principle of equal treatment proves finally impossible.
The Department is not clear as to the present status of the offer to pay the Turks 270 shillings per ton for all unaccepted chrome above ground on September 25, 1942, plus all newly mined chrome up to January 8, 1943, in the light of Numan’s statement reported in paragraph 3 of your 1046 that it was not possible to give the British pari [Page 770] passu treatment in 1943 and 1944. The British Embassy here is under the impression that pari passu treatment in these years was an additional condition attached to the payment of the 270 shillings price. As you are aware, no such condition was attached to this Government’s agreement to increase the price and its willingness to share in the added expense. Information on the present status of this offer would be appreciated.
In accordance with paragraph 6 of the Department’s 532, please continue to concert your actions with those of your British Colleague in such manner as to secure the maximum effect from your collaboration, making personally the representations necessary.