811.20 Defense (M) Turkey/214: Telegram

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

1359. Department’s 685, December 23. Your paragraph 2. We did not have in mind that Department volunteer a statement but merely that it be prepared to meet inquiries that doubtless will be made by press on occasion of some development in chrome situation, such for example as signing of new purchase contract between British and Turks or reports from Istanbul of first movement of chrome to Germany. It would seem preferable that Department meet any such inquiries by a brief statement that a new agreement has been reached without necessarily disclosing any terms thereof or signifying its satisfaction or dissatisfaction rather than by a refusal to reply to inquiries by press which might create impression that Turkey had rebuffed United States and Great Britain. I think it would be most unfortunate to permit any note of dissatisfaction with outcome of negotiations to be voiced by American press inasmuch as Yalcin’s89a article written during his visit to United States and given considerable publicity here and in which he emphasized American discontent with Turkey’s attitude on subject of chrome created a bad impression in Turkish Government circles which construed American position to be tantamount to a demand that Turkey categorically specify in [Page 788] writing its intention to violate its written agreement with Germany even before date for German performance has expired. Any expression of dissatisfaction by Department or American press would doubtless add to this irritation whereas absence of a note of dissatisfaction would indicate American confidence in Turkish Government’s intention to do its utmost to meet our wishes.

I do not believe that officially expressed satisfaction would tend to mislead the Turks or run the risk of exposing them to increased German pressure, as the Turkish attitude will be entirely influenced by such deliveries as the Germans may make and not by political or diplomatic pressure. The foregoing is merely an expression of my views in the premises and is not to be construed as suggesting that an official expression of satisfaction be voiced by the Department but rather as urging that the American press should not be encouraged to express dissatisfaction.

Your paragraph 3. This subject is being discussed with the British.

Your paragraph 4. The Department may rest assured that an appropriate opportunity will be sought to suggest to the Turkish Government the proposal outlined in the Department’s 557, of October 29.

Your paragraph 5. Answered by my 1345, December 23.

  1. Huseyin Cahid Yalcin, eminent Turkish publicist.