Statement by the Department of State 1

The Chiefs of United States diplomatic missions in the Near East will meet in a conference under the chairmanship of George McGhee, Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern, South Asian, and African Affairs, on November 26 at Istanbul, Turkey.

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The conference is part of a routine series of meetings being held with the chiefs of mission in various parts of the world.

Burton Y. Berry, newly appointed Director of the Office of African and Near Eastern Affairs, and Gordon H. Mattison, Deputy Director of the Office, will accompany the Assistant Secretary to Istanbul.

United States diplomatic representatives who will attend the conference include the American Ambassadors from Cairo, Jefferson Caffery; Athens, Henry F. Grady; Tehran, John C. Wiley; Ankara, George Wadsworth; Tel Aviv, James G. McDonald; Baghdad, Edward S. Crocker; Jidda, J. Rives Childs; the American Ministers from Beirut, Lowell C. Pinkerton; Damascus, James H. Keeley; the American Chargé d’Affaires a.i., at Amman, A. David Fritzlan; and the Consul at Jerusalem, William C. Burdett, Jr.

  1. Released November 10; reprinted from Department of State Bulletin, November 28, 1940, p. 835. Mr. McGhee, on November 15, invited Gordon R. Clapp, Chairman of the Economic Survey Mission, to attend (telegram 696, identified also as Esmis 34, to Beirut, 501.BB Palestine (E)/11–1549).

    The Department, at the outset, intended to hold the conference at Cyprus, but was informed by London on November 1 of the Colonial Office’s concern that “such meeting would intensify Communist activity in Cyprus where party line active on theme Anglo-Americans have imperialist designs on ME. Presence conference might add fuel to fire and give local party and its sympathizers opportunity to conduct agitation which might also be embarrassing US.” The Department the next day undertook to have the conference held at Istanbul (telegrams 4370 from London and 3954 to London, both filed under 120.3 Conferences/11–149).