800.515/1–2545: Telegram

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

115. We have under active consideration approaches to all of the neutral European Governments concerning implementation of Bretton Woods Resolution VI (reference Department’s circular telegram September 298) and accomplishment of Safehaven objectives (reference Circular airgrams August 23, and September 289). In latter connection you will soon receive by circular airmail instruction details concerning Safehaven project.10 Approaches to the neutrals will be tailored to fit the peculiarities of each country and will be made at a time when this Government is in a particularly favorable bargaining position. For example, during the recent trade negotiations the Swedish Government recognized and agreed to implement the resolution,11 and we are further encouraged in our hopes for ultimate success by the enactment of decrees by the Swedish Government aimed at preventing foreign exchange transactions between Sweden and Germany.12 We contemplate similar demands upon Spain and [Page 860] Switzerland13 in connection with trade negotiations to be held in the near future with those countries.

We anticipate that our desiderata with regard to Turkey will soon be formulated and submitted for your consideration and recommendation. However, the liquidation of German banks and insurance companies (reurtel 2334, December 9,14 and related communications) present a problem of immediate urgency. It is important that Axis assets presently located in Turkey be preserved in a readily identifiable form as there is a danger that such assets will be obscured or lost track of by transfer of ownership. Although we fully approve of the action of the Turkish Government in ordering the transfer of the assets and policies of the German banks and insurance companies to local institutions, measures should be taken to assure that such assets are preserved for disposition in accordance with Allied policy to be adopted. Therefore, if the Turkish Government has not already done so, we suggest that you urge it to assign immediately to the German banks and insurance companies supervisors or liquidators to prevent dissipation, manipulation, or concealment of assets. It is also suggested that you urge the government to block the proceeds of liquidation and institute any other measures necessary to prevent the proceeds from being made available for free use of the Germans.

It is hoped that you will find it possible to obtain, through the Turkish Government or otherwise, more information than has been possible in the past regarding the use of important German accounts now being transferred to other institutions.

Please report promptly your actions on this instruction and the reaction of the Turkish Government.

  1. Foreign Relations, 1944, vol. ii, p. 235.
  2. Ibid., pp. 220 and 234, respectively.
  3. Supra.
  4. See Foreign Relations, 1944, vol. iv, p. 671, paragraph (e), and pp. 672678, passim.
  5. See section entitled “Negotiations of the United States and the United Kingdom with Sweden for the cessation of Swedish exports to German-occupied Europe”, vol. v, pp. 731 ff.
  6. See section entitled “Negotiations of the United States, United Kingdom, and France with Switzerland for the cessation of exports to Germany”, vol. v, pp. 765 ff.
  7. Not printed.