811.20 Defense (M) Turkey/211: Telegram

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

1345. Embassy’s 1278, December 13.

British Chargé has formally replied to Turk note of December 11. Reply states that British Government is happy to accept Turk Government’s note together with Hugessen’s letter of October 5 as basis of Anglo-Turk arrangements regarding disposal of Turk chrome production. British Government assumes that paragraph 3 (b) of Turk note “will be so interpreted as not to exclude either sale to His Majesty’s Government of any chrome that may be available at any given time or the issue of export licenses therefor on grounds that such chrome is or may be required to meet hypothetical obligations, that is, as payment for goods not actually delivered to Turkey. His Majesty’s Government wish to place on record their hope that Turk Government will be able to meet them on this point.” The reply continues that Chargé is authorized by his Government to make a formal offer to pay for all chrome declared after September 25, 1942 on a sliding-scale price calculated on basis of 270 shillings a ton for 48% ore.
Referring to the last sentence of paragraph 4 of the Department’s 646 of December 11. Concurrently with the delivery to the Foreign Office of the British Chargé’s reply he sent formal notification to the Etibank of the decision of the British Government to pay the producers the increased price. In this connection, I desire to point out as stated in the Embassy’s 1016 [1116], November 4 that the mine owners were informally advised through the Etibank several months ago that the British intended to pay 270 shillings per ton for all ore accepted after September 25.
The Department will doubtless observe the unusual language of the British Chargé’s reply in referring to the acceptance of “the [Page 786] Turkish Government’s note together with Hugessen’s letter of October 5, as the basis of Anglo-Turkish arrangements.” The purpose of this phraseology is to place the British and ourselves in a position to reopen the discussions with Numan in the event that the Turkish Government should fail at any time to take advantage of every loophole to reduce deliveries to Germany to the minimum.