Memorandum of Conversation, by the Under Secretary of State (Webb)


Subject: Courtesy Call of Ambassador Erkin.

Participants: Feridun Erkin, Ambassador of Turkey
James E. Webb, Under Secretary
C. Robert Moore, Officer-in-Charge, Turkish Affairs

Ambassador Erkin stated that he was leaving for Turkey very shortly and had wanted to call on me before his departure.1 While he had no particular problems to take up with me, he inquired whether there were any views the Secretary or I might wish him, upon his arrival in Turkey, to convey to the new Government, particularly with respect to the recent London meetings.2 I referred to his call on me of April 27,3 and stated that, as I believed he knew, it had not been found possible to place on the agenda of the London meetings the question of including Turkey in a regional pact, but that the Ambassador’s request had been taken up with the Secretary.4 By way of observation on the London meetings I mentioned to the Ambassador that I felt these meetings had revealed that:

the peoples of Europe recognize more acutely than they did a year ago the implications of being a satellite nation and realize that there is no middle road for them;
the free peoples of Europe have a greater feeling of confidence as a result of the cooperation thus far achieved that war can be prevented, and they recognize that this is possible only through their cooperative efforts;
many of the measures of cooperation now being undertaken as a result of the Russian threat would, in any event, have been essential in order to meet major economic and other problems facing the world after World War II.

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The Ambassador inquired if he might inform his Government that the inclusion of Turkey in a security arrangement with the United States was only a question of time. I replied that I did not feel that I was in a position to make such a statement, but that he could be sure that we would be constantly working with Turkey to arrive at measures which we could both agree were the most suitable in the light of existing conditions. The Ambassador then asked if we were not concerned over the possibility that countries which were not covered by security arrangements with the United States might become discouraged. I pointed out again that there was abundant evidence of our interest in Turkey’s security; that Turkey was not only receiving direct aid from the United States, but was benefiting indirectly from the United States contribution to security measures in other areas. The Ambassador did not pursue the matter further, and the meeting came to a close.

James E. Webb
  1. Ambassador Erkin was away from Washington, June 16–August 15; Melih Esenbel, First Secretary of the Turkish Embassy, served as Chargé d’Affaires ad interim.
  2. For documentation on the meetings of the Foreign Ministers of France, the United Kingdom, and the United States, London May 11–13, see vol. iii, pp. 828 ff. For documentation on the session of the North Atlantic Council, London, May 15–18, see ibid., pp. 1 ff.
  3. See the memorandum of conversation, April 27, by Mr. Webb, p. 1252.
  4. With reference to Ambassador Erkin’s request of April 27 that the question of including Turkey in a regional security pact be placed on the agenda of the May meeting of the Foreign Ministers in London, Mr. McGhee suggested in a memorandum of May 1 to Mr. Webb that a reply “be deferred until after the meetings of the Foreign Ministers as there is always a possibility that the question may come up during the meetings. Should Ambassador Erkin raise the question in the meantime, he could be informed that the Secretary was fully briefed on the matter before his departure but that it is doubtful that there can be any change at this time in this Government’s position as expressed to him previously.” For text of Mr. McGhee’s memorandum, see vol. iii, p. 79.