811.20 Defense(M)Turkey/984: Telegram

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

689. Following is the text of the note (No. 761) dated April 14 which I presented in person to the Minister for Foreign Affairs yesterday: [Page 828]

“Excellency: On instructions from my Government I have the honor to make to your Excellency the following communication:

The Government of the United States of America and the Government of Great Britain have been seriously perturbed by the economic assistance which Turkish trade relations with Europe have given to the enemy. Hitherto however they have acquiesced in this situation on the informal understanding that Turkish exports were limited to what was required to purchase essential Turkish requirements which could not be obtained from the United Nations. The rapidly approaching crisis in the war situation, when it is essential that the enemy should be deprived of all means of resistance, compels the two Governments to revise their attitude even though they realize that this may cause some temporary inconvenience to Turkish economy. Accordingly they feel bound to warn the Turkish Government that the Government of the United States and the Government of Great Britain view with serious disfavor as prejudicial to their vital interests the Turkish agreements with Germany and her satellites whereby Turkey undertakes to supply commodities to those countries which are essential to the conduct of the war. Any renewal of agreements or the conclusion of fresh agreements on the same lines will entail the application to Turkey of blockade measures such as the two Governments have throughout the war applied for [to] neutral countries.

Among the articles which the Government of the United States and the Government of Great Britain consider essential to the conduct of the war are the following: chrome; copper; iron and steel; vegetable oils; oil seeds; tanning materials; gall nuts; skins; cotton; cotton rags, waste and clippings; woolen rags; mohair; silk cocoons and silk waste; hemp; flax; opium; lambs’ casings for cat gut.

Please accept, Excellency, the renewed assurances of my highest consideration. Signed Laurence A. Steinhardt.”

The British note mutatis mutandis was identic.