740.0011 European War 1939/32640

Memorandum by the Secretary of State to President Roosevelt

The British Government informs us that it has learned through an extremely secret source that the Turkish authorities consider the United States to be much less insistent upon Turkey’s entering the war than the British are and that Great Britain alone is putting pressure on Turkey in this regard. The British Embassy in Washington has requested the Department to authorize Ambassador Steinhardt2 to “back up any representations that the British Ambassador in Ankara3 may make”, in order to dispel the Turkish impression.

Furthermore, the British Government intends to let the Turks know that the present offer to the Turks to enter the war is final and that if it is not accepted Great Britain will be obliged to reconsider its whole Turkish policy.

Am I correct in assuming that while you would not wish us to authorize Ambassador Steinhardt to back up any representations which the British Ambassador may make, you would like him to make it clear to the Turks that we as well as the British would welcome Turkey’s contribution to the common victory by active participation in the war?4

C[ordell] H[ull]
  1. Laurence A. Steinhardt, Ambassador in Turkey.
  2. Sir Hughe M. Knatchbull-Hugessen.
  3. Marginal notation: “CH OK FDR”.