840.50 Recovery/1–1948: Telegram

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


49. For Under Secretary Lovett. I should appreciate your glancing at my telegrams, 43 January 16, and 47, January 17, and asking for summary my telegrams 36, 40, 41, January 15, re Turkish position in ERP.1

I feel we have real problem on our hands in this matter. From studies we have made here I am convinced Turkey cannot finance out of unpledged and unearmarked gold and foreign exchange equipment needed for mineral agricultural production to contribute to ERP. Furthermore, Turkish foreign trade balance is running strictly in deficit: in last 10 months import deficit with US of $26,000,000, with other American countries deficit of three and half million dollars, and trade surplus with nonparticipating countries equivalent of only five and half million dollars. I have heard that Turks failed present up-to-date balance payment figures and that studies re Turkish position may have been made on out-of-date figures. If so, this was of course Turk fault, but does not alter facts of present situation.

Turkey wants to cooperate and in fact will be able make substantial contribution to ERP but does require credits for this purpose.

What strikes me particularly in overall picture is invaluable asset which Turkey presents to US in our effort maintain stability and peace in Middle East. This country has been in front line against Soviet threats since spring 1945 and Turks feel they are doing good job for US and other western democracies at heavy cost to their economy in maintaining large military forces. Turks will feel they have been badly treated indeed if they are told to go out and buy needed equipment out of inexistent assets. Amount money involved for credits would not be large in any case and credits would be fully repayable. I feel value of action in granting credits not only warranted by statistical position Turkey, but more than justified in terms relations between Turkey and western democracies.

  1. Telegrams 43, 40, and 41 not printed.