867.20/11–1247: Telegram

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

top secret

864. Foreign Minister has now given me detailed statement in support request for credit to cover national defense needs above budget allocations (mytel 851, November 61). Summary as follows:

[Page 401]

Turkish Government plans demobilize one class and maintain army of two classes or 320,000 men, sum of 377 million liras in 1948 budget covers minimum expenditures army of only 230,000 men; to cover cost 90,000 additional men to bring strength to 320,000 will require additional sum of 123 million liras: furthermore it will be necessary retain in service part of 1926 class to be demobilized next March in order assist training recruits 1928 class, which will cost 73 million liras additional; foregoing means supplemental appropriation required of 196 million liras making total credit 573 million required for national defense in 1948. In addition army stocks of clothing, shoes, equipment, gasoline, et cetera, have been exhausted through drawing on them during past seven years; in case need of sudden mobilization, Turk armed forces lack necessary equipment for army larger than 470,000 men now under arms; Minister of National Defense estimates will cost 326 million liras build up necessary stocks make possible mobilize additional 500,000 men. Statement adds financial situation Turkey does not permit Government meet cost economic development country while at same time devoting 50 percent budget to National Defense, and requests US Government reconsider Turkey’s need for credit cover these essential National Defense needs which cannot be met from budget.

Sadak gave me budget breakdown for National Defense and data supporting his request which will require translation and study. At first glance appear to be contradictions and gaps in data necessitating request for further information. I will transmit report and comment soon as possible.

While telling Sadak I knew my Government would be prepared give careful consideration to data submitted, I stressed heavy demands made on US financial resources for reconstruction war-devastated economies western Europe. He asserted impossible make savings in budget allocation other Ministries which are “at bare minimum” required for adequate operation. Government believes economically unsound and politically inexpedient increase taxes.

Sadak added Government hopes present to International Bank in about a month request for credits for economic development particularly modernization coal mines.

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