Memorandum of Conversation, by the Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern and African Affairs (McGhee)

Participants: Satvet Lufti Tozan, Turkish businessman
Mr. McGhee—Assistant Secretary
Mr. Hare—Deputy Assistant Secretary1
Mr. Moore—GTI 2

General Hoag, former Chief of the United States Air Force Group in Turkey, telephoned me several days ago to ask if someone in NEA could receive Mr. Tozan. As Mr. Tozan was calling on Mr. Hare this morning, I arranged to see him for a few moments.

After discussing in general terms some of the problems facing Turkey, Mr. Tozan mentioned that the Patriarch Athenagoras3 had given him a letter to Mr. Acheson and had also given him a verbal message to the Secretary in the event that the latter could receive him. It was explained that the Secretary was extremely busy at this particular time and I stated that if Mr. Tozan would give me the letter, I would be glad to see that it reached the Secretary, and pass on as well any message which the Patriarch had for the Secretary. This seemed satisfactory to Mr. Tozan, who stated that he would send me the letter4 and that the message he had been asked to give [Page 1680]the Secretary was that the Patriarch was working along the lines he had agreed upon,5 and that he was very satisfied with the results.

Mr. Tozan further stated that he also brought to the Secretary the good wishes of the Turkish Prime Minister, Mr. Gunaltay, who asked that he likewise acquaint the Secretary with Turkey’s serious financial problems. The Prime Minister felt that Turkey required a loan of $200,000,000 for its army, in addition to the aid which it was already receiving from the United States. The Prime Minister recognized our problem in acceding to such a request, but hoped that perhaps a private loan in this country could be arranged as Turkey had many resources, such as minerals and petroleum, to back up a loan. I said that I would refer the Prime Minister’s statements to the Secretary, but that Mr. Gunaltay could be sure that we were giving much thought to Turkey’s financial problems. I added that the doors of the International Bank and the Export-Import Bank were undoubtedly open for consideration of any specific projects the Turks might want to propose.

Mr. Tozan stated that the Prime Minister wished also to refer to the omission of Turkey from the Atlantic Pact and to express the hope that some means could be found to meet Turkey’s desires on this score, perhaps through adherence by the United States to the Treaty of Alliance existing between the United Kingdom, France and Turkey.6 I indicated that we were mindful of Turkey’s views on the subject of a pact and were, of course, taking them into consideration in our general consideration of the problem.

Mr. Tozan stated that he also had a message from the Prime Minister for Mr. Garner7 of the International Bank to the effect that the Turkish Government agreed to the conditions imposed by the Bank and wished it to send a Mission to Turkey. It was suggested that Mr. Tozan get in touch directly with Mr. Garner.

Mr. Tozan emphasized that he had no official connection with the Turkish Government, but that he was well acquainted with many of the leading governmental officials and, because of his known services to the Allied cause during World War II and his own position, he had been asked as “homme de confiance” to transmit the messages referred to above.

  1. Raymond A. Hare, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern and African Affairs.
  2. Charles R. Moore, of the Division of Greek, Turkish, and Iranian Affairs; from October 3, Officer in Charge of Turkish Affairs in the Office of Greek, Turkish, and Iranian Affairs.
  3. Athenagoras I, Archbishop of Constantinople and Ecumenical Patriarch.
  4. Patriarch Athenagoras’ brief letter, dated July 29, 1949, which was delivered at the Department of State by Mr. Tozan on September 16, contained an introduction for Mr. Tozan and the following personal message to the Secretary of State:

    “We feel most thankful for the most valuable help which the great and beloved American Nation is granting to Turkey in these trying times and while she is by her special position and will the bulwark of democracy and peace in the Near East. May our Lord allow your noble Nation to continue the dispensation of the aid to this Country and its worthy people not only for military purposes but also for its economical and agricultural requirements.

    “We pray the Almighty to keep you under His grace and guidance and to Mess your endeavours in favour of beloved America and Mankind,” (867.00/9–1649)

  5. In the source text at this point the additional words “with the Secretary when he last saw him” have been crossed out. A memorandum of October 3 from Assistant Secretary of State McGhee to the Secretary of State, not printed, explaining the nature of the Patriarch’s oral message, bears the following handwritten marginal notation by Lucius D. Battle, the Special Assistant to the Secretary of State: “Mr. Secretary[:] This may refer to an ‘agreement’ with Gen Marshall. No one is sure what is meant.” (867.00/9–1649)
  6. The British-French-Turkish Treaty of Mutual Assistance, signed at Ankara on October 19, 1939; for text, see League of Nations Treaty Series, vol. cc, p. 167.
  7. Robert L. Garner, Vice President of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development.