867.24/9–3044: Telegram

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

880. Reurtel [1879] September 30, 1944, 8 p.m. You may reiterate to the Prime Minister that the mutual-aid agreement patently is not in the nature of a bill by us or a receipt by the Turks for specific deliveries. It is a statement of principle to be followed in providing mutual aid and in making a final settlement. It should be apparent to the Turkish authorities that they will not be held accountable by both the British and American Governments for the same material.

If additional arguments are required, you might be able to use the fact that, according to FEA,94 Saraçoğlu’s position would appear to be without justification, since the British Embassy in Ankara has filed monthly with the Turkish Foreign Office lists of arrivals of military stores, in which clear differentiation is made between goods of American, British, and Middle East Supply95 origin. The separation of the list into United States and British shares is now being worked on by United States and British authorities. Furthermore, Article V of the master agreement signed by the British96 requires the British to report to this Government all retransfers, thereby protecting Turkish interests.

[Page 908]

The British Government has been informed as a courtesy that discussions were taking place with the Turkish Government regarding the agreement. You should leave Saraçoğlu in no doubt, however, that the proposed agreement is looked upon by us as a means of regularizing mutual-aid relations between Turkey and the United States and as such solely of interest to our two Governments.

The Department notes from your [1896] October 3, 1944, 7 p.m.97 that Turkish Government is reconsidering its position and will inform you of all interpretations it desires to incorporate in an exchange of letters supplementary to the agreement. On our side, unless you perceive objection, we will wish to call attention to the aide-mémoire which was handed to the Turkish Ambassador in March, 1943,98 particularly the reference therein to the fact that the agreement covers past as well as future transfers and those made by retransfer as well as directly, and to point out to the Turkish Government that under section 3 (b) of the Lend-Lease Act,99 whatever benefits the United States is to receive shall be those which the President of the United States deems satisfactory. Settlement will, of course, be made in the light of the principles stated in the agreement. You are also requested to make clear to the Turks our understanding with respect to continued aid as outlined in the Department’s [811] September 20, 1944. These matters may be presented to the Turkish Government by note, aide-mémoire, or oral presentation, when and as you believe most appropriate.

  1. Foreign Economic Administration.
  2. This refers to the Middle East Supply Center, a joint Anglo-American organization located at Cairo.
  3. Preliminary agreement in regard to principles applying to mutual aid in the prosecution of the war against aggression, signed at Washington, February 23, 1942; for text, see Department of State Executive Agreement Series 241, or 56 Stat. (pt. 2) 1433. For correspondence leading to this agreement, see Foreign Relations, 1942, vol. i, pp. 525 ff.
  4. Not printed.
  5. On March 8, 1943, Foreign Relations, 1943, vol. iv, p. 1096.
  6. Approved March 11, 1941; 55 Stat. 31.