ECA Telegram Files, FRC Acc. No. 53 A 278, Paris ReptoTorep Telegrams: Telegram

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The United States Special Representative in Europe for the Economic Cooperation Administration (Harriman) to the Administrator for the Economic Cooperation Administration (Hoffman)

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Repto 2173. Eyes only for Hoffman and Lovett2 from Harriman. [Page 1639]In my brief 24 hours in Ankara3 I talked with President Inönü,4 most of the members of the cabinet, and a number of the senior government departmental administrators, as well as our people. I have renewed confidence in determination of the Turks and in their effective use of American aid under our direction. They realize that they must expand their economy to support their army principally in agriculture and mining and therefore they have reversed their prewar attitude toward foreigners, at least as far as we are concerned. They recognize they need, not only our physical aid, but even more essentially, our technical assistance in developing programs and training their backward people.

Ministers are largely energetic, occidentally trained, young men, who understand not only the opportunities of Turkey’s undeveloped resources, but the lack of training of their people. We should accept their request for guidance in the development of their program which they are now incapable of doing alone, in the engineering of specific projects and in the development of a training system for the workmen and farmers. Our people explained that from their experience the Turks learn quickly, have an enthusiasm and determination, spurred on by fear of Russian aggression. The Turks feel their security lies primarily in what they do for themselves and in their hope for American assistance and support.

President Inönü stated he believed that war could be avoided if the United States could develop unity among the free countries of Europe, which required determination and maximum effort by each country, and that Turkey would do her part. He emphasized that firm American moral support is of even greater value than material aid.

I left with the feeling that any aid we can afford to give to Turkey would be well used. The situation calls for materially strengthening our ECA mission on the technical side first to help the Turks develop a program. There are many phases which need to be thoroughly analyzed and welded into a balanced program. There are enormous opportunities in the expansion of agriculture requiring machinery for and training of the farmers and need for construction of primary and secondary roads to bring out the products. The mineral and oil potentialities require critical analysis for exploitation. The Turks earnestly plead for our advice. I urge that we supply it as a matter of urgency on the recommendations of Dorr5 in consultation with the Ambassador6 and General McBride.

[Page 1640]

No country of Europe has the will to resist so determinedly nor such an ambition to exploit its resources. With our assistance, and only with our assistance, can Turkey become an increasingly effective deterrent to Soviet aggression and a contributor to economic developments in Eastern Mediterranean and Europe.

Sent Washington Repto 2173, repeated Ankara Repto 81. Eyes only Ambassador and Dorr.

Harriman
  1. These are the serial telegram files of incoming and outgoing Economic Cooperation Administration (ECA) cables for the years 1948–1951, as maintained by the Administrative Services Division of the ECA and subsequently retired by the Mutual Security Agency. These files, which are presently administered by the Agency for International Development, are a part of Federal Records Center accession number 53 A 278.
  2. Under Secretary of State Robert A. Lovett served as Acting Secretary of State until January 21, 1949, when Dean Acheson was sworn into office.
  3. In early January 1949, Ambassador Harriman made brief visits to Greece and Turkey. Regarding his visit to Athens, see p. 237.
  4. Ismet Inönü, President of Turkey.
  5. Russell H. Dorr, Chief of the Economic Cooperation Administration Mission in Turkey.
  6. George Wadsworth, Ambassador in Turkey.