740.0011 European War 1939/25112: Telegram

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

556. With reference to Kuibyshev’s 947, October 27, 9 p.m., repeated to you, the Department desires that you make representations to the Turkish authorities along the lines indicated, either jointly with your British and Soviet colleagues, or separately, if the latter appears more appropriate after you have consulted with your colleagues.

The matter is of much urgency, since the British Government understands that one or more of the vessels may be approaching the Dardanelles.

For your information, the British contemplate attempting to delay the vessels in Istanbul by legal proceedings if the representations to the Turkish authorities are not successful.

Ambassador Steinhardt8 is inclined to believe that the Turkish authorities may decide to permit no transit through the Dardanelles, in either direction of course, of merchant vessels which are in fact assimilable to naval auxiliaries.

  1. Temporarily in the United States.