867.24/2–1646: Telegram

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

secret

212. After signature aviation agreement with Turkey,24 I informed Soviet Ambassador25 thereof before public announcement was made in order if possible to obviate usual suspicions about anything concerning Turkey. In conversation with him yesterday he said, “I hear you signed another agreement in connection with aviation accord whereby you will sell $10,000,000 worth of war material in Cairo to Turk Government.” I explained nature and functions of FLC and told him that few days ago representatives of FLC were in Ankara negotiating agreement with Turk Government whereby latter could purchase on credit surplus equipment in Cairo.26 I explained this [Page 902]was not combat material, but such surplus as RR and construction equipment, commissary supplies, vehicles, etc. I also explained that other countries in Middle East had already sent purchasing commissions to Cairo. I made clear there has been no connection between air agreement which had been under negotiation for months and this arrangement for purchase surplus stocks. Vinogradov appeared satisfied.

It occurs to me, however, that if Turk Government accepts offer submitted to them in accord Deptel 92, January 28, to take delivery of goods Lend-Leased to Turkey, but held up in Cairo since spring of 1944, such goods may include small amount combat material, arrival of which in Turkey may excite Soviet suspicions unless circumstances explained to them beforehand. I shall therefore, if and when Turks accept offer, explain circumstances to Soviet Ambassador.

Sent Dept as 212; repeated Moscow as 20.

Wilson
  1. Air transport agreement between the United States and Turkey, signed at Ankara, February 12, 1946; 61 Stat. (pt. 3) 2285. For press release issued by the Department on February 15, see Department of State Bulletin, February 24, 1946, p. 306.
  2. Sergey Alexandrovich Vinogradov.
  3. Agreement to grant Turkey a credit of $10,000,000 to purchase U. S.-owned surplus material in the Middle East was reached on February 27, 1946. Details of the negotiations were reported in despatch 661, March 13, from Ankara (867.24/3–1346). The agreement was approved by the Turkish grand national assembly on May 8 (867.24/5–1846). A supplemental agreement was signed December 6 at Ankara and reported in despatch 1282, December 13 (867.24/12–1346).