Page images
PDF
EPUB

cation that Turkey was conspiring with the United States and Great Britain against some one. I gathered that the Turks fear being embarrassed in their policy of neutrality by an official announcement which would too pointedly emphasize their cooperation with one side.

2. I am inclined to question the desirability of issuing the contemplated formal statement to the press lest it give rise in the minds of the Turks and others to a false conception of our complacency towards their recent treaties with Germany; and I suggest that if possible the press be advised of the necessary finding by the President only through an informal statement made at a press conference. If, however, it is not possible to dispense with a formal statement I recommend that the second paragraph be omitted in accordance with understanding of Turkish Government.

MACMURRAY 867.24/201 The Secretary of State to the Lend-Lease Administrator (Stettinius)

WASHINGTON, November 26, 1941. MY DEAR MR. STETTINIUS: The receipt is acknowledged of your letter of November 12, 1941, indicating that on November 7, 1941 the President had found that the defense of Turkey was vital to the defense of the United States and had requested you to work out a program of Lend-Lease aid with the Department of State and representatives of Great Britain. Enclosed with your letter under acknowledgment was a statement of procedure designed to fulfill the President's directive in this regard.

The Department of State concurs with the statement of procedure and returns the original herewith, endorsed in accordance with your request. The Department presumes that your office will take whatever steps may be necessary for consulting with the appropriate British authorities with regard to this procedure. Sincerely yours,

For the Secretary of State:

DEAN ACHESON

Assistant Secretary 867.24/222 Memorandum of Conversation, by Mr. George V. Allen of the Division of Near Eastern Affairs

[WASHINGTON,] December 4, 1941. Participants: Turkish Ambassador

Mr. Murray

Mr. Allen The Turkish Ambassador called at the Near Eastern Division today, on his own initiative, to express his personal appreciation for the statement issued at the White House yesterday, stating that the President had found that the defense of Turkey was vital to the defense of the United States. The Ambassador emphasized that he had received no instructions from his Government on the subject and that he was calling in a personal capacity. He said that the statement indicated that the United States placed confidence in Turkey, and he was appreciative of the willingness of the American Government to aid his country.

867.24/206: Telegram

The Chargé in Turkey (Kelley) to the Secretary of State

13

ANKARA, December 5, 1941–8 p. m.

[Received December 6–4:45 p. m.] 467. Referring to my preceding telegram,18 according to information received from a variety of sources, the President's announcement has made a considerable impression in Turkey. The Embassy has been reliably informed that the Turkish press has been advised not to play the matter up, apparently with a view to avoiding provoking the Germans. In commenting on the announcement for the benefit of newspapermen the Director General of the Press Bureau emphasized particularly two points: first, that the action of the President was an act of friendship towards Turkey for which the Turks were very grateful, and second, that it indicated that the United States fully understood and had confidence in Turkish policy. Among foreign diplomats and newspapermen there is the feeling that our action strengthens Turkey's position and will tend to encourage her to resist German pressure.

KELLEY

867.24/220 The Lend-Lease Administrator (Stettinius) to the Assistant

Secretary of State (Acheson)

WASHINGTON, December 12, 1941. DEAR DEAN: With further reference to your letter of November 25,14 I am pleased to enclose for your information a complete report on Lend-Lease aid to Turkey, indicating all steps taken in that direction since the passage of the Act on March 11.

You will note this report contains in addition to information on the points you raised background and general material. It does contain, however, everything which you asked for, and as this complete report was available I felt that sending it to you in this form would be the best answer to your inquiry. With best wishes, Sincerely yours,

18 Not printed.

Not printed; it asked information as to the quantities, dollar values, and transfer dates of lend-lease aid which had been furnished to Turkey since the passage of the Lend-Lease Act (867.24/199).

E. R. STETTINIUS, JR.

[Enclosure] Report on Turkey by Mr. Ray A. Graham, Jr., Liaison Officer,

Office of Lend-Lease Administration

[WASHINGTON,] November 27, 1941. I. On March 23, 1941, the President, in a letter to the Secretary of War, found that the defense of the Turkish Government was vital to the defense of the United States, and authorized him to transfer 50 155 mm howitzers and 18,500 round of ammunition for these howitzers to the Government of Turkey. . . . Up until this time Turkey had been procuring defense items in the United States through the President's Liaison Committee on PNR's 15 and letter clearances. (See Table I.) 16

II. Since March 23, the British have submitted various requisitions for retransfer to the Turks as it was decided that this would be the most expeditious way of rendering the Turks aid under LendLease, since the British controlled most of the facilities for shipping. These requisitions, together with their value and disposition are shown in Table II, attached. This table should by no means be interpreted as being the full requirements of the Turks. In fact, it does not represent their most urgent requirements which are antitank guns, anti-aircraft guns, planes, tanks and trucks.

The British have a requisition no. 3943, which calls for 700 trucks. We have been trying to move this for three months with little success.

Their requisitions of note are the ones for raw materials, which are to go into Turkish arsenals for the making up of high explosive shells. The reason for this is that the Turks' artillery is a mixture of German, Austrian and French guns. These bastard types are of nonstandard United States sizes, hence the need for raw materials to make their own shells and ammunition. Their total requirements and defense programs have been submitted to the Lend-Lease Administration and were forwarded to SPAB 16a by Mr. Stettinius.

III. When I was assigned the Turkish problem about September 1, the only material the Turks had received on British requisitions

[blocks in formation]

were the howitzers, ammunition, and 10 trucks. 200 of these trucks were shipped in June, and according to the British, the remaining 190 are still in transit.

The background of the delay on these retransfer requisitions to Turkey submitted by the British stems back to the latter part of June when the War Department at an informal request of the British Purchasing Commission put all these requests on the shelf. Later on the State Department ran into this situation when they were trying to gain some concessions from the Turkish Government. As a result of this, on August 15 they were referred to Colonel V. D. Taylor, of the Defense Aid Supply Commission, for action. However, no action was forthcoming because the British Purchasing Commission again requested the War Department to defer the financing of these requisitions. In the meantime, the Allied Requirements Section of the British Supply Council and the State Department were needling this office to get action on these requisitions, and the former even specified in telephonic conversations which ones they wanted moved, saying that they had urgent cables from London. As a result bf these delays, we initiated the idea of Lend-Leasing aid to Turkey direct and after getting the green light from Mr. Hopkins on September 6, we started conferences with the British Supply Council and the State Department with regard to changing over to the direct procedure.

IV. In the first meeting held on October 23, in the State Department, it was brought out that the Turks had obtained more material through the PNR's and letter clearances for cash than they had through retransfer under Lend-Lease from the British. In spite of these facts, the British would not agree to the principle of LendLease aid direct by the United States at this meeting. This conference was very unsatisfactory and it was decided to hold another one at a later date. Before the second conference, this office and the State Department met and drew up a method of effecting retransfer and also a procedure for giving the Turks Lend-Lease Aid, direct on a cash reimbursement basis. The reason for keeping the retransfer method through the British stemmed from a request by Lord Halifax made in the interim to Secretary Hull, wherein Halifax said it was imperative for the British to use their Lend-Lease aid for the Turks in order that they might meet their existing trade treaty with the Turkish Government. (This means the British are reimbursed by the Turks for aid given them by the United States.) At this second meeting, held November 4 in the State Department, all the principles under-lying a retransfer method for cash and an effective retransfer method with more United States control were approved and concurred in by all present, including the British, who were represented by Mr. Hayter of the Embassy, and Sir Louis

Beale of the British Supply Council. (This lays the path for all direct aid by the United States, if the need arises in the future.)

V. On September 11, the President revoked the former letter of March 23 and authorized the chairman of the British Supply Council of North America to transfer the 50 howitzers and ammunition to Turkey. This amounted to picking up on paper what had actually been done in practice since the British had, through their shipping facilities, the only means of sending material to the Turks. This revocation had a bad effect in that in order for the Lend-Lease Office

a to send aid direct to Turkey, the President had to find again that the defense of Turkey was vital to the defense of the United States.

VI. On November 7, the President wrote Mr. Stettinius, saying that the defense of Turkey was vital to the defense of the United States, and that he should take immediate action to transfer all feasible material aid to the Turks. On November 20, Mr. Stettinius signed the procedure for retransfer and direct aid for cash and forwarded it to the State Department. This procedure was based on the principles agreed to in the last meeting in the State Department with the British. The first things to be transferred to the Turks on a cash reimbursement basis directly by the United States will be 1000 Ford trucks. We are getting this on a requisition at the present time.

VII. All actual Turkish purchasing is being done from the Embassy and the Allied Requirements Section of the British Supply Council, who are working in collaboration with a Turkish Technical Mission. This Turkish Mission is composed of two Turkish military men who were sent over to America at the request of the British. Until they moved to Washington, a few weeks ago, the Embassy and this Mission did not seem to be in close liaison. The Turks have paid in cash for their transportation and shipping on all purchases made in this country. They have even paid the British for the shipment and transportation of the howitzers and trucks which they received from the British through the medium of Lend-Lease. They have paid in cash and placed orders under PNR's and letter clearances and lately we have had no trouble in getting them priority ratings that are equal to our own. This is illustrated in Table I, attached.

VIII. The Turks have a small merchant fleet composed of about 50 ships which operate up and down the coast of the Mediterranean, the Caspian and the Black Seas. Since the war began they have been ordered to stick close to Port.

To get material to Turkey from the United States now takes about 90 days because it has to go by way of Cape Horn and then to Suez. Perhaps in the future this shipping can be speeded up since the Neutrality Act has been repealed and our own ships are beginning to come

off the ways.

« PreviousContinue »