740.0011 European War 1939/26722: Telegram

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

1354. Embassy Naval Attaché has drawn my attention to four Axis barges which passed through Bosphorus headed for Aegean on December 23. He states that although these barges give every appearance of being commercial vessels they are obviously intended for military purposes and that he is informed that a considerable [Page 811]additional number have been assembled along Black Sea coast and a number during past year.

British Chargé with whom I discussed matter this morning states that under instructions from London he is protesting to Foreign Office today. I told him that unless he received satisfactory assurances from Foreign Office on subject I would protest at once against passage of any more of these barges.