Admiral William D. Leahy, Chief of Staff to the Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy, to the Secretary of State
My Dear Mr. Secretary: In accordance with a request made by Mr. Murray of the Department of State, I am forwarding herewith quoted extracts from the Minutes of the Casablanca Conference that bear on the Turkish situation.
These following quoted decisions were intended to bear exclusively on our combined war effort, and were made for the purpose of Allied military advantage.
- “1. At the 63rd meeting of the Combined Chiefs of Staff held
at Casablanca, 20 January, the following conclusion was reached.
The Combined Chiefs of Staff:
- “a. Agreed that Turkey lies within a theater of British responsibility, and that all matters connected with Turkey should be handled by the British in the same way that all matters connected with China are handled by the United States of America.
- “b. Agreed that, in particular, under the general direction of the Combined Chiefs of Staff, the British should be responsible for framing and presenting to both Assignments Boards all bids for equipment for Turkey. The onward dispatch to Turkey from the Middle East of such equipment will be a function of command of the British Commanders in Chief in the Middle East. They will not divert such equipment to other uses except for urgent operational reasons, and will report such diversions to the appropriate Munitions Assignments Board.
- “2. In the Final Report to the President and Prime Minister,
the final paragraph 8 reads as follows:
“‘We have agreed upon the administrative measures necessary to give effect to the decision that all matters connected with Turkey shall be handled by the British.’
- “3. At a meeting between the President, the Prime Minister,
and the Combined Chiefs of Staff, held at the President’s villa
on 18 January 1943, the following is extracted from the minutes:
“‘The Prime Minister said that since most of the troops which would be involved in reenforcing Turkey would be British, he asked that the British be allowed to play the Turkish hand, just as the United States is now handling the situation with reference to China. The British would keep the United States advised at all times as to the progress being made.
“‘The President concurred in this view …’
- “4. In Item 3 of the 92nd Meeting of the Combined Chiefs of
Staff held in Washington, the Combined Chiefs of Staff:
- “a. Took note of the action already proposed by the British Chiefs of Staff with regard to the provision of military supplies for Turkey.
- “b. Agreed that with due regard to other important commitments, the assignment of the equipment as proposed by the British Chiefs of Staff should be made with the least possible delay.
- “5. In their final report to the President and Prime Minister,
Item 1, Section VI, reads as follows:
“‘The Combined Chiefs of Staff agreed at the Casablanca Conference that the British should be responsible for framing and presenting to the Munitions Assignments Boards all bids for equipment for Turkey. The Combined Chiefs of Staff have now agreed that, with due regard for other important commitments, the assignment of such equipment as may be agreed to by the Combined Chiefs of Staff should be made with the least practicable delay.’”