841.24/1666: Telegram

The Ambassador in Turkey (Steinhardt) to the Secretary of State

1271. In conversation with Foreign Minister yesterday he informed me that he was sending that day his reply to British Embassy in connection with chrome negotiations. He said that his reply constituted substantial agreement with the British terms and outlined the understanding as follows:

British are to receive all chrome above ground on January 8, 1943. Prior to that date Turk Government will furnish British Embassy with certified list of the quantities of chrome above ground at the various stock piles.
After January 8, the Germans will receive only a percentage of the 45,000 tons of chrome corresponding to percentage of the 55,000,000 Turkish pounds of material delivered by Germany. Numan stated that as matters stood today deliveries of only 11,000 tons of chrome were obligatory.
Between January 8 and March 31 no deliveries of chrome will be made to either the British or the Germans other than the percentage referred to in preceding.
After March 31 the deliveries to Germany and Britain will be on an equal footing, the Germans, however, receiving only such tonnage as their deliveries after March 31 entitle them to. All chrome in excess of obligatory deliveries to Germany under the contract will go to the British in 1943 and 1944.
The Turkish Government will make no agreement with either the British or Germans for deliveries after January 1, 1945 but the British will have priority tantamount to an option in respect to concluding an agreement covering production after said date. Insofar as concerns the obligation to Germany to conclude an agreement covering an additional 135,000 tons, Numan stated that he would not obligate his Government to make deliveries of all or any part of the [Page 782]135,000 tons unless and until the 18,000,000 Turkish pounds of war material had been delivered to Turkey.

As soon as the Turkish Government’s formal reply is received by the British Embassy I shall discuss with Sterndale Bennett the extent to which it meets the British terms.