ECA Telegram Piles, FRC Acc. No. 53 A 278, Paris Repto–Torep Airgrams: Airgram
The United States Special Representative in Europe for the Economic Cooperation Administration (Harriman) to the Economic Cooperation Administration
A–55. On February 19 at lunch, I had a general discussion with Foreign Minister Sadak of Turkey1 regarding ECA problems in that country. The Foreign Minister expressed the disappointment of his Government at the reduction which had been made in the figure of aid for Turkey in ECA’s recent submissions to Congress. I explained to him that these submissions have been purely of an illustrative nature and that they were in no sense designed by ECA to prejudge the recommendations which might be made by OEEC in connection with the division of whatever American aid might be available.[Page 1644]
I expressed to the Foreign Minister ECA’s interest in the program of development upon which Turkey has embarked. I said that parts of this program, which had been included in Turkey’s estimates of requirements from ECA, were probably beyond the scope of ECA financing. I said that I thought it was most important, therefore, that Turkey push the negotiation for obtaining funds from World Bank for the purpose of financing certain of these projects. I told the Foreign Minister that when I was in Washington recently, I discussed this matter with officials of both of these institutions and I stated that Mr. Robert Garner, Vice President of the World Bank, is shortly coming to Europe and plans to visit Turkey.
The Foreign Minister appeared much interested in the above. He said that not only did Turkey need funds to finance purchases and services from abroad in connection with development programs, but that there was also a serious problem involved in securing local funds for local investment purposes. He recalled that forty-eight percent of the Turkish budget is devoted to defense purposes and he contrasted this amount with the eight percent of the total budget similarly allocated in Belgium. He stressed the determination of Turkey, as long as present circumstances persist, to maintain herself in a posture of defense, but he said that, obviously, the burden involved limited the Government’s possibilities for constructive action in other directions and, therefore, emphasized the need for foreign assistance. I expressed full appreciation of the importance and extent of Turkey’s sacrifices.
- During late February and March, Turkish Minister for Foreign Affairs Necmettin Sadak visited Western Europe.↩