867.00/2–349: Telegram

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

top secret

57. Following are highlights Admiral Conolly’s discussions Ankara January 31–February 2 re subject listed Deptel 32, January 19:1

North Atlantic Pact. Only mention was by President Inönü. Referring to Soviet pressure on Norway2 as “a warning to all small nations that for their own good they had best not accept any invitation to join”, he commented “it seems significant to us, no great conflagration develops as planned”. It seemed he said “of vital mutual interest” that we study together the implications of such events.

Royall–Radford conversations.3 President, Foreign Minister and Turkish General Staff officers stressed importance they attached there to US opening way to Turkish-American General Staff talks designed [Page 1641]evolve common (#) initiate with you joint military operational planning”.4

Admiral Conolly’s position was that, while he had directive from American Joint Chiefs of Staff to conduct American military planning in this as in other parts area his command, he had “no authority open formal Turkish-American General Staff talks” but that he desired explore field through exchanges of ideas between Turkish General Staff and General McBride who would act as his intermediary. He could not go further without top-level political clearance.

President was obviously disappointed but accepted Admiral’s formula as important forward step. Admiral will work out details of new directive to COMAT5 when in Washington next three weeks.

Black Sea naval equilibrium. This was considered in discussions between members Admiral Conolly’s and AMAT6 Naval Groups. It was mentioned but not stressed by Turks. Admiral will report thereon when in Washington.
Reorganization AMAT command. Admiral went carefully into this matter and will pursue it when in Washington. I suggest Department obtain directly from his comment and views on mytel 15 January 8.7
There was no discussion with Turks re VOA relay facilities (Deptel 33, January 188) or British-American aerial mapping project (Deptel 27 January 17).9

In general, fleet visit Istanbul and Admiral’s visit Ankara have been eminently successful. In terminating conversation with Admiral, [Page 1642]President said “your visit has been precious. We had given subject (joint General Staff planning) careful thought before your arrival. I will find it right to pursue it with appropriate authorities”.

Admiral’s comments: “President, probably more than anyone else, senses deficiency in strategic direction present Turkish military effort but does not realize limited planning abilities his General Staff. He clearly wants formal commitment either through political defense pact or by formal association of Military Staffs on higher level than AMAT contact”.

Will air pouch record conversation with President and Admiral’s memo on “Turkish strategic planning”.8

Sent Department 57; repeated London 9 for Admiral Conolly.

  1. Adm. Richard L. Conolly, Commander in Chief of U.S. Naval Forces in the Eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean, visited Ankara from January 31 to February 2, 1949. Admiral Conolly, accompanied by Ambassador George Wadsworth; Vice Adm. Robert B. Carney, Deputy Chief of Naval Operations (Logistics); and members of Admiral Conolly’s staff (Maj. Gen. Arthur McK. Harper, Brig. Gen. William L. Ritchie, and Rear Adm. Joseph F. Bolger) called on Turkish President Ismet Inönü on January 31. Foreign Minister Necmettin Sadak, Minister of National Defense Hüsnü Çakir, Foreign Ministry Secretary General Fuad Carim, and several high-ranking Turkish General Staff officers were also present with the President. Ambassador Wadsworth’s detailed memorandum of the conversation together with a memorandum by Admiral Conolly entitled “Turkish Strategic Planning,” dated February 2, were transmitted to the Department of State as enclosures to despatch 38, February 3, from Ankara, none printed (811.3367/2–349). Earlier information on the proposed visit of Admiral Conolly to Ankara is presented in an editorial note, Foreign Relations, 1948, vol. iv, p. 217.
  2. The reference here is presumably to the Soviet declaration of January 29, 1949, regarding Norway’s relationship with the prospective North Atlantic Treaty Organization. For documentation on the North Atlantic Treaty, including the specific incident under reference here, see vol. iv, pp. 1 ff.
  3. Regarding the visits to Turkey in December 1948 by Secretary of the Army Royall and Vice Admiral Radford, see the editorial note, Foreign Relations, 1948, vol. iv, p. 217.
  4. A portion of the paragraph printed here was obviously omitted in transmission. According to Ambassador Wadsworth’s memorandum of this conversation (see footnote 1, above), President Inönü recapitulated the most significant portion of the conversation as follows:

    “You and your Fleet have honored my country by your visit. We had been expecting this, and we welcome it highly. At the same time, with you personally we (and his gesture included the galaxy of Turkish ministers and officers present) had expected another type of interview. We had hoped to initiate joint military planning. You, however, answer that we must settle for consultations through General McBride.”

  5. Coordinator of the Armed Forces Groups, American Mission for Aid to Turkey, Maj. Gen. Horace L. McBride.
  6. The American Mission for Aid to Turkey.
  7. Not printed. In it Ambassador Wadsworth commented favorably on a proposal, made earlier by Secretary of the Army Royall, that the coordinated U.S. Army, Navy, and Air Force Groups within AMAT be reorganized as sections of a joint military mission with a single head. (867.20 Mission/1–849). In October 1949, the Joint Chiefs of Staff issued a directive establishing the Joint American Military Mission for Aid to Turkey (JAMMAT). Major General McBride, as senior army officer on duty, became Chief of JAMMAT.
  8. Not printed.
  9. Not printed. Regarding the aerial mapping project under reference here, see the Acting Secretary of State’s letter of May 19 to the Secretary of Defense, p. 1671.
  10. Not printed.