811.20 Defense (M) Turkey/157: Telegram

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

1215. My 1189, November 22. British Chargé88 in absence of Ambassador who has left for London has discussed draft reply with Foreign Minister along lines agreed upon between this Embassy and British Embassy.

Numan agreed to omit second sentence in paragraph numbered 1 replacing it with sentence in paragraph numbered 2.
With regard to paragraph numbered 1 (b) British Chargé stated that he welcomed Government guarantee which he assumed covered protection of stocks from pilferage. He pointed out that inspection and assessment of stocks fell in a different category being a commercial matter and that it was only reasonable that buyer should have facilities to see what he was buying. He thought that there was nothing more natural than that representatives of the two Governments should visit the mines together to assess the stocks. He inquired whether if paragraph in question stood as drafted he could be assured that question of inspection of stocks would be dealt with to British satisfaction when it came to negotiating detailed purchase contract.
Numan was not prepared to commit himself precisely, but said that anything that was commercially necessary could be agreed with Etibank when purchase contract was negotiated.
British Chargé asked for elucidation of first 12 words of paragraph 1 (c). Numan assured him they were intended to relate to first 45,000 tons under Clodius agreement and nothing more. Upon being urged to specify this he said he desired to avoid any mention of Clodius agreement in order to avoid possible difficulties with Germany. He had no objection British Ambassador sending him a letter that it was his understanding from conversations passage in question related only to first 45,000 tons under Clodius agreement. When it was pointed out to him present wording might mean Turk cooperation in transport would not begin until 45,000 tons had been entirely delivered to Germany, Numan said this was not intention and he agreed to change “after” to “reservation being made with respect to”.
Regarding paragraph 3 (b) Chargé said phrase “up to December 31, 44” might mean British had to wait until end of 44 before surplus became available. He pointed out several other phrases in this paragraph such as “already existing” and “an agreement to be included” were too indefinite. He therefore proposed following alternative text: “At end of each calendar month (or alternatively at end of each [Page 778] period of 3 months) up to December 31, 1944 all chrome ore not delivered by Turkey to other countries in virtue of an agreement existing at the date of present letter shall be sold to British Government at price mentioned in paragraph 1 above”. Numan said it would be impossible for him to agree to so precise an arrangement which he thought would be impossible to work in practice. He would, however, try to draft an alternative passage to give effect more vaguely to same idea. He said his intention was that all of remaining stocks of chrome on December 31, 1944 after fulfillment of obligations to Germany should be Britain’s and that any surplus before that date should be delivered to British provided that transport was available without prejudice to obligations to Germany.
With regard to paragraph 4 Numan agreed to insert “for the moment” before “decided”. British Chargé also suggested that last two words of sentence should be replaced by “extracted after January 1, 1945”. With regard to rest of paragraph he pointed out that second sentence gave British only most-favored-nation treatment and referred to export, not to sale. He recalled earlier conversations in which Ambassador was informed that it was intention to reserve at least 50% of output for British. He said last sentence was offensive and suggested that it should be replaced by following: “It is understood that the quantity provided for in the contract would be not less than 50% of Turkish output if British Government so desired and that priority could not be maintained if negotiations were unduly delayed”. Numan said he could not agree to specific mention of 50% as this would involve him in difficulty with Germany. He wished to reserve freedom to sell chrome after 1944 to countries other than Germany and Britain and wording proposed would make it clear that such chrome was going to be deducted from German share.

He said that nondiscrimination referred not only to conditions, but to quantities and assured British, therefore, of as much chrome as Germany. Numan said he would reconsider whole paragraph and let British Chargé have a redraft. He suggested possibility of putting in a specific tonnage instead of a percentage. He did not like phrase “unduly delayed” and said he would propose in his redraft an option for a definite period, say 3 months, from proposal to conclude an agreement.

British Chargé states that Numan made it clear during discussion that he could not agree to anything in writing which Germans could twist around as being incompatible with Turkey’s obligations to Germany. He referred several times to this consideration with a view to indicating that there was a considerable difference between what Turkey could do in writing to meet British viewpoint and what she could do in practice.

  1. J. C. Sterndale Bennett.