840.50 Recovery/1–1748: Telegram
The Ambassador in Turkey ( Wilson ) to the Secretary of State
47. Embtel 43 January 16; 36, 40, 41, January 15.1 President Inönü asked me see him last night and together with Foreign Minister we discussed for over two hours Turkish position in ERP.[Page 369]
President said reports from Washington that Turkey would be expected finance procurement out of own resources equipment for mineral agricultural production as contribution ERP, have been “severe blow” to him personally and to Turkish Government and he feared would have most unhappy effect on Turkish public opinion. President said he was convinced studies made in Washington which led to foregoing conclusion must be based on statistics of some months ago and failed take into consideration present and future obligations against Turkish gold and foreign exchange as well as steadily worsening trade balance during recent months. He pointed out Washington estimate $140,000,000 Turkish surplus with nonparticipating countries during recovery period cannot be in dollars but only in exchange nonconvertible in dollars and hence nonusable for purchase equipment in US.
President read me excerpts from telegram from Turkish Ambassador Washington reporting conversation with State Department officials January 13 regarding ERP in which Ambassador was informed Turkish position as laid before CEEC was in nature requirements for economic development program rather than contribution to ERP; but if Turkey would prepare plan for contribution to ERP this would be given consideration. In other words said President door is not closed.
President said there was also a morale problem involved. He said Turkish people conscious of fact they have been under Soviet guns since spring 1945 and have in effect been holding fort for western democracies with heavy burden on Turkish economy. Turkey fully desirous contributing to ERP but convinced some financial assistance required to make this contribution effective and if Turkish people are now to understand it is considered opinion US Government, Turkey is not to be assisted by credits but must use its extremely limited and fast dwindling gold and foreign exchange assets for this purpose, there will be deep misunderstanding and disappointment throughout Turkey with feeling Turks have been let down.
President said even if US conclusions drawn from statistical studies regards Turkish position were correct—and he was convinced they were not and that US would so recognize—there are important factors other than statistical involved and it would be impossible to explain complex situation to mass Turkish people in a way to satisfy them that omitting Turkey from credits was justified.
President said instructions would be sent Turkish Ambassador Washington present this problem to State Department with current request for reappraisal Turkish position with view obtaining credits under ERP to enable Turkey make contribution through mineral agricultural production.
President reiterated his concern over reactions Turkish Parliamentary [Page 370] and public opinion and instructed Foreign Minister to explain situation to Parliamentary groups in confidence and to see that Turkish press guided in sense final word not said in Washington and discussions were continuing.
- Telegrams 43, 40, and 41 not printed.↩