740.0011 European War 1939/18771: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Chargé in Turkey (Kelley)15

26. Your 34, January 21, 6 p.m. For such use as in your discretion you may desire to make of it, there is set forth below the text of a letter addressed by Ambassador MacMurray today to the editor of the Baltimore Sun for publication in that paper on January 24, relating to his interview published on January 8.

A copy of this letter will be brought to the attention of the Turkish Ambassador.

“It appears that German propaganda, with the purpose of creating dissension among the United Nations, is giving currency to a misquotation of the interview which I gave to one of your correspondents and which was published in the Sun of January 8th last. In the course of that interview I referred to the fact that Turkish opinion had been perplexed and troubled by the reports (actually originating in Germany) which had been widely published during the summer of 1941, to the effect that Russia had tried to make a deal with Germany concerning the Straits of the Bosphorus and the Dardanelles at Turkey’s expense. This has been widely misrepresented by the Nazi press and radio as a statement by me that the Soviet Government had in fact made such an attempt—a statement which I did not make and would not have been in a position to make: and this falsification has even been cited in support of equally false Nazi propaganda to the effect that the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Great Britain16 on his recent visit to Moscow offered its Russian ally a free hand in regard to the Straits.

There has also been a direct attribution to me of the opinion that the conclusion of the Soviet-German Treaty of August 23, 1939, constituted a betrayal of Turkey by the Soviet Government, whereas a reading of the interview should make clear that I was not expressing an opinion but referred to the concern which the Soviet-German Treaty had tended to create at that time in the minds of some Turkish circles.

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I should appreciate it if you would be good enough to publish this letter in order to place on record its correction of the unscrupulous perversions of my remarks which Nazi propaganda is putting about.”

  1. The same, mutatis mutandis, was sent on the same date to the Chargé in the Soviet Union as telegram No. 29.
  2. Anthony Eden.