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felt to be my gratuitous intrusion. Hugessen of course made it plain that whatever action I had taken was prompted by my Government's very real interest and concern.

2. He strongly feels and I concur that it would be ill-advised for either of us to press matter further at this moment in view of action already taken; authorities are obviously smarting at being called to account and made to realize error of what evidently was their calculation that they could in this way “throw a teb to the whale" without serious consequences; and we both feel that there is danger of exasperating this feeling to extent of its obscuring their judgment and arousing their characteristic recalcitrancy in face of pressure just when they are undertaking to consider matter afresh. I am therefore assuming that representations I made yesterday substantially carry out purpose of your 164, September 21, and unless otherwise instructed shall make no further démarche at present stage of question. Repeated to London.


811.20 Defense (M)/3347 : Telegram The Ambassador in Turkey (MacMurray) to the Secretary of State

ANKARA, September 27, 1941–1 p. m.

[Received 4:12 p. m.] 359. My 356, September 24. Although Turkish authorities have given neither British nor ourselves any intimation of their decision there are seemingly reliable unofficial indications that they have decided to refuse German request for chrome. Repeated to London.


811.20 Defense (M)/3357 : Telegram The Ambassador in Turkey (MacMurray) to the Secretary of State

ANKARA, September 28, 1941—noon.

[Received September 29–3:37 a. m.] 361. It would be premature to report that chrome question is definitely settled in our favor but I think it is.

2. At Cabinet meeting on Thursday Chief of General Staff Marshal Fevzi Cakmak who had been called in spoke very bluntly about fact that civil officials in pursuance of their own conceptions of national defense were trying to carry water on both shoulders without even consulting responsible military leaders who were quite aware that nothing this Government would get from Germany would compensate for such alienation of British and American support as' would result

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from giving chrome to Germany. Result of Cabinet meeting appears to have been decision that German request is to be refused. As is quite understandable however Turks seem to be handling matter cautiously so as to avoid loss of face either for themselves or for Germans.

3. Hugessen advises me Foreign Minister has now told him question is virtually settled, and even promises early renewal of contract but still balks at giving categorical assurance that no chrome will go to Germany. Numan Bey has been very outspoken in telling that he had been instructed to "accustom Germans to idea of not getting any chrome” and had on Thursday told Clodius none would be given. Latter at once cancelled plans for visit to Izmir Fair and asked for meeting of trade delegations on Monday 29th. Numan expects him to make issue of matter and either break off commercial negotiations or demand face-saving concession of increased quantities of copper—as to which British who have agreed to considerable shipments heretofore are relatively indifferent and would oppose no objection.

4. H[ugessen] and members of his staff who are most appreciative of our intervention nevertheless tell me they have received impression that it was at least momentarily infuriating to Foreign Minister who definitely resented intervention which he is disposed to consider intrusion of my own upon a scheme by which he had hoped to gratify both parties—perhaps by promising Germans chrome upon conditions which they would not be in a position to fulfill. Possibly for that reason he has given British Ambassador account of Secretary's talk with Turkish Ambassador Monday which I cannot believe to be accurate (and which is very different from that received by H from London Foreign Office) to effect that Secretary had intimated no American interest in chrome save as we were anxious that Turks should not do anything distasteful to British. I have naturally found it prudent to hold aloof from official contacts under circumstances already reported to you but with view to future contacts should he, of course, find it useful to be informed of tenor and effects of that conversation. Repeated London.


811.20 Defense(M)/3373: Telegram The Ambassador in Turkey (MacMurray) to the Secretary of State

ANKARA, September 30, 1941—-11 a. m.

[Received 5:20 p. m.] 362. My 361, September 28. I understood that at yesterday's meeting of trade delegations (attended also by Von Papen) Numan steadfastly refused to give any chrome and that Germans while insisting on their original request and stating that they were awaiting further instructions nevertheless gave the impression of being disposed not to force the issue but to continue the negotiations on the basis of either receiving additional copper or giving less of the highest category materials desired by Turkey. Repeated London.


811.20 Defense (M)/3452: Telegram The Ambassador in Turkey (MacMurray) to the Secretary of State

ANKARA, October 3, 1941–6 p. m.

[Received October 48:30 a. m.] 370. As explained in my 361, September 28, I have felt constrained to avoid Turkish official contacts until in a position to contradict authoritatively somewhat flippant view of American attitude which it seems to take. Generally prevalent impression among Turks and foreign journalists (who have been allowed by very real although unacknowledged censorship to telegraph and broadcast with utmost freedom on this subject of which not a single whisper has appeared in Turkish press) is that we have won on chrome issue as Germany is to get none at present time.

2. Last night my British colleague told me that he had received from Foreign Minister and Secretary General oral assurance that Turkey would deliver no chrome to Germany now and that their Government regarded existing chrome contract as already renewed in favor of Great Britain for further year (i. e., until January 8, 1943) provided by option, although Minister would not put it in writing at this juncture lest it seem to be a challenge to Germans; and that Von Papen and German trade delegation were staying on awaiting instructions. Reassuring as this was, however, Hugessen coupled it with statement that he had reason to believe there was at least basis of truth in current rumors that Turks had not opposed flat refusal to German demand but (as I had first heard in concrete form from a journalistic source yesterday) had proposed to Germans two alternative formulas for incorporation in trade agreement: (a) that Germany should be free to buy any exportable surplus of Turkish products; or (b) that she should be enabled to buy any chrome which Turkey should be free to sell. (It is to be noted that formulas above outlined reached me orally at second or third hand and through mutations from Turkish probably through French into English so that no inferences can safely be made as to wording which might well prove crucial.) He also told me he had suggested extending contract for 3 or even 5 years but that Minister had said that he could not go beyond one year's extension in good faith to Germans. That seems clearly to imply that Turks consider themselves so far committed to Germans as not to preclude their getting chrome in 1943.

3. I am frankly puzzled that my British colleague, although he had at once protested against any such committal, nevertheless seems rather indifferent to that possibility since he assumes course of war will by that time have made question academic. I urged upon him that we cannot safely act on such assumption and that I could not feel my Government would be content to contemplate any possibility that its supply of Turkish chrome might be cut off in January, 1943.

4. ... I frankly confess myself at a loss to recommend course of action in case they should outright give chrome to Germans. It would be a natural and justifiable retort to refuse them any further lease-lend assistance; but I fear that might only defeat purposes which have justified our aid. Yet it would be vital mistake to let them get away with feeling that they can interpret their obligations loosely with no more serious consequences than to make [apparent omission) and myself a bit peevish.

a 5. Having indicated some of complications and dangers I nevertheless venture to recommend that Secretary follow up his talk with Münir Bey September 22 40 by telling him (and telegraphing me transcript of conversation for use in my discretion) that our Government is not in a position to continue furnishing armament to Turkey unless assured beyond all equivocation that at least so long as war lasts Turkish Government will see to it that United States is in a position either directly or through Britain to obtain for purpose of manufacturing such armaments all chrome that Turkey can produce. I further recommend that Turkish officer associated with British Purchasing Commission be told same thing by highest American official responsible for lease-lend matters in order that he may be in a position to report to General Staff independently of Foreign Office which is perhaps timid in passing on bad news to military authorities.

6. Although it involves considerations outside my province I venture to suggest that thereafter in consultation with Britain there might be offered to Turks a joint and several obligation to purchase their entire chrome output (if specific figure is desirable say up to 250,000 tons a year) either for 5 years or for duration of war and thereafter until denounced. Repeat to London.



See memorandum by the Secretary of State, September 22, p. 949.

841.24/851 : Telegram The Ambassador in Turkey (MacMurray) to the Secretary of State

ANKARA, October 4, 1941–1 p. m.

[Received October 6—7:43 a. m.] 371. (1) British Ambassador tells me that yesterday under instructions he proposed to Foreign Minister new chrome contract for 5 years or until year after end of war, whichever earlier. Minister confirmed readiness to give 1-year option on extension under existing contract, repeated statement he could not without breach of faith with Germans make any arrangement carrying obligation to British beyond June 1943, but said his Government would be free and prepared to make in advance long term contract to run from expiration of German trade agreement which is to run for 18 months and is expected to be signed Tuesday, i. e., from about April 7, 1943. This seemingly indicates that in order to avoid immediate issue Turks have committed themselves to allowing Germans at least theoretical right to buy during roughly 3 months at beginning of 1943. It should in fairness be admitted that they may well have resorted to this device in good faith in conviction (which I have elsewhere reported) that before that time they will have been forced into hostilities cancelling that commitment.

(2) Minister also told Hugessen that Von Papen and Clodius had at first taken rather high line in demanding chrome saying refusal on Turkey's part would indicate unwillingness to live up to spirit of recent Treaty of Friendship. Minister had replied he could not admit intrusion of such clearly political considerations into negotiations which Germans themselves insisted were purely commercial. They had talked similarly to Seczge [Secretary General?] who had likewise stood firm and who had opposed strenuous denial to further argument that Turks were not getting promised war materials from Britain and might better look to Germans who could promise prompt delivery. A day or so later they had told MGNA [Minister for Foreign Affairs?] that on reflection they agreed with his viewpoint and had asked for instructions (which have not yet been received) authorizing them to drop demand for chrome (presumably demand for definite delivery under trade agreement; he did not explain the circumstances or precise nature of 1943 commitment referred to above). Germans had then said there had been so much talk of Turkish fears of attack by Germany as to create a false impression of mutual distrust which it would be opportune to dispel by issuing some sort of statement embodying assurances that neither nation would attack other; and that he had assented to that proposal." I

See telegram No. 378, October 9, 7 p. m., from the Ambassador in Turkey,

p. 908.

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