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All of this it must be realized must be done under the changing circumstances created by the war.
It is thought that perhaps more will be achieved if the Federal Loan Agency (Metals Reserve Company) has on the spot working towards this end a small and properly selected group of representatives to concentrate on this matter, to keep in close touch with the Turkish authorities, and to advise the different branches of this Government as to what needs to be done at any particular moment. It may even be that by providing a small measure of extra financial inducement or equipment this Government could directly help to get increased amounts.
Would the Embassy advise as to the usefulness of such representatives, as to how they would be received by the Turkish authorities. Furthermore, we would be glad to receive from the Embassy recommendations as to any Americans whose recent or present experience in Turkey would appear to qualify them particularly well for such an assignment.
Furthermore, since it is the intention of the Department to center activities relating to the chrome program in your hands, you are requested to report your general advice and suggestions as fully and expeditiously as possible.
811.20 Defense (M)/3701 : Telegram The Ambassador in Turkey (MacMurray) to the Secretary of State
ANKARA, November 5, 1941–4 p.m.
[Received November 6–5:54 a. m.] 414. Your 194, October 28. Following are conclusions reached by my British colleague and myself after thorough canvass of chrome situation:
1. Every effort should be made to ship from Turkey as soon as possible all existing stocks of chrome now lying principally at Marmara and Aegean ports, and with this end in view he and I propose again to approach Turkish authorities separately with urgent request for their assistance in transporting this chrome by coastwise shipping and by rail to ports accessible to British shipping. Turks have already placed at disposal of British one coastwise vessel with capacity 3,500 tons. We propose to endeavor to obtain additional vessels. Furthermore every effort should be made to ship during 1942 every ton of chrome which is mined in order, if possible, that at no time, particularly at beginning of next spring when action by Germany against Turkey is possible or at end of period covered by British contract, shall there be any stocks on hand.
2. Conclusion of British chrome purchase contract for period January 8 next to January 8, 1943, should be expedited. Details of this contract are now under discussion between British Embassy and Turkish Foreign Office.
3. We recommend that no representatives of Metals Reserve Company be sent to Turkey at present inasmuch as it is considered that presence of such representatives would not be of any particular usefulness under present circumstances and might tempt Turks to try to play off American against British interests. British have a chrome expert who keeps in touch with mines and interested Turkish authorities. We propose however to keep in mind possibility of presence of American expert becoming desirable in connection with subsequent developments.
4. With regard to bringing about increased chrome production in °42 there appears to be some difference between our own and British approaches to question; for whereas I take it that primary purpose of our Government is to acquire for its own use maximum quantities (not only in 1942 but I assume in succeeding years), British put primary emphasis upon keeping to a minimum amount available to Germany in 1943 and 1944.
In view of latter consideration and of fact that such permanent equipment as ropeways could not be installed until too late in ’42 to affect substantially that year's production and would remain available for increasing production for Germany thereafter we agree in recommending that no equipment more substantial than trucks be made available to Turkish Government. As best method calculated to induce Turks to make greatest possible effort to increase production during this year it is recommended that consideration be given to working out a scheme whereby there will be delivered to Turkey a specified number of units of military equipment greatly desired by her such as planes or guns for every 1,000 tons delivered at Mersin for instance over and above quantity shipped out of Turkey in present year (it is estimated approximately 80,000 tons will be shipped in '41).
5. Thought should be given immediately to arrangements to be entered into with Turkey with regard to purchase of chrome subsequent to January 8, 1943, whether for instance it is advisable to enter into long term contract say for 5 years providing for purchase of all Turkish chrome with exception of amounts which Turkey is now obligated to furnish Germany in '43-44 and which would contain provisions in respect to those years to [sic] which would enable us to get as much chrome as possible and make it difficult for Germany to obtain amounts specified in trade agreement. Repeated London.
811.20 Defense (M)/3701: Telegram The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Turkey (MacMurray) 50
WASHINGTON, November 10, 1941–9 p.m. 202. Your 414, November 5. Department after consultation with British Embassy is in agreement with suggestions your paragraph 1. The policy to be followed is to lift all the chrome to be produced during 1942 and in addition all stocks which have accumulated at the mines, ports and railway stations. According to information supplied to the British Embassy here direct from Ankara, the Turkish 1942 production of 48 percent ore and of concentrates will be about 90,000 tons and of all grades about 160,000 tons. Furthermore, there are now at ports and railway stations about 80,000 tons and at mines about 200,000 tons. Accordingly, to carry out the policy of lifting all chrome now on hand or to be produced in 1942, it will be necessary to make arrangements to lift 440,000 tons. Please confirm if your figures agree since it is clear if these figures are correct that the measures we take in 1942 will have to be on a quite different scale to those employed in 1941 when only 81,000 tons were lifted.
The Department is in agreement with your recommendation that the British chrome purchase contract covering the year ending January 8, 1943 be expedited. The Department believes that the agreement should include all stocks on hand plus the 1942 production to the extent that this production is not already contracted for under the agreement terminating January 8, 1942. The reason why the contract should be drawn in this way is that the Department desires that there should be no chrome on hand on January 8, 1943 which is not subject to prior contract to Great Britain or the United States.
With reference to your paragraph 3, the Department agrees that no representative of Metals Reserve Company go to Turkey at present. However, it is believed that in view of the importance of the transportation problem, it would be helpful to you and to the British to have American transportation experts to assist you in the negotiations with the Turkish Government with respect to transportation, which negotiations will clearly be most difficult. Please telegraph if you are in agreement, in which event necessary arrangements will be made immediately.
Your paragraph 4 will be the subject of a later telegram since the points raised in this paragraph involve consultation with other Departments and agencies of the Government.
The Department requests that you reconsider your paragraph 5. The Department does not desire to discuss at this time the purchase of chrome subsequent to January 8, 1943 if there is any possibility of being asked during such negotiations to recognize the validity of any claim by Germany with respect to the chrome production of Turkey subsequent to January 8, 1943 and it would seem most difficult to avoid this subject if you were now to begin conversations for the purchase of the production in 1943 and subsequent years. You are accordingly requested, after consultation with your British colleague, to give us your further recommendations on this point bearing in mind that if you both should recommend that such a long term contract be made, it would be given most favorable consideration.
50 Repeated on the same date to the Ambassador in the United Kingdom as telegram No. 5108.
811.20 Defense (M)/3759 : Telegram The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in T'urkey (MacMurray) 51
WASHINGTON, November 21, 1941–1 p. m. 209. Reference your 427, 428, and 429, November 14, and your 423, November 12.52 The Department is obtaining consideration for the desire of the Turkish Government for additional shipping. The Department has also noted the Turkish request that Great Britain furnish 50,000 tons of wheat. The British Embassy here has informed the Department that the Turkish Government has also requested from them 30,000 tons of barley. These requests for foodstuffs will be favorably considered by this Government and, it is assumed, by the British Government, but before replying definitely, the Department desires further information as to the possibility of the Turks being able to move the chrome to be purchased during 1942 to the ports of Mersin and Alexandretta or other ports in their vicinity.
The policy of this Government and it is believed of the British Government to date has necessarily been based on the premise that the Turks will be able to move from the three chrome areas 307,000 (your 428 of November 14) tons of chrome to the ports of Mersin and Alexandretta or other ports in their immediate vicinity during the year 1942. If this can be done by the Turks, necessary shipping can be provided to take this chrome from these accessible ports to the United Kingdom and the United States or some intermediate point of transshipment. Recent information which the Department has received as to the extent of sea and rail transport in Turkey has led the Department to believe that there is a serious doubt whether the Turks will be able through their railroads and coastal shipping to move this total of 307,000 tons to these accessible ports in 1942. If this doubt is valid, it is obvious that some new measures not presently
51 Repeated on the same date to the Ambassador in the United Kingdom as telegram No. 5321.
under consideration will have to be adopted if the objective of cleaning out Turkish chrome by the end of 1942 is to be achieved. You are accordingly requested to consult with your British colleague and to telegraph the Department your opinion as to whether the Department may safely rely on the willingness and ability of the Turkish Government to move the 307,000 tons of chrome to Mersin and Alexandretta or other ports in their vicinity in 1942. If you believe that it is not safe to rely upon the Turkish ability and willingness to transport this amount of chrome, your opinion is requested as to whether and to what extent the Turks will increase the amount of chrome made available to these accessible ports during the 12 months of 1942 over the amount so delivered during 1941.
You are also requested, after consultation with your British colleague, to telegraph to the Department your opinion as to the maximum amount of chrome which can be made available by the Turkish Government at the Sea of Marmora ports, Fethiye, Mersin and Alexandretta and adjacent ports during the months of December 1941 to April 1942, inclusive, specifying in your reply the total tonnage to each port and assuming that you can obtain the maximum cooperation of the Turkish Government in making chrome available at ports during this period.
811.20 Defense (M)/3837 : Telegram
The Chargé in Turkey (Kelley) to the Secretary of State
ANKARA, November 28, 1941–6 p. m.
[Received November 29—2:11 p. m.] 454. (1) Reference your 209, November 21, 1 p. m. It is my opinion which is concurred in by my British colleague that we can count on Turk willingness to move in 1942 the 307,000 tons of chrome to accessible ports (Mersin and Alexandretta and other ports in vicinity). However, while confident of Turk goodwill in matter we both feel that it is essential that Turk Government be kept constantly under pressure. With this end in view, British authorities are making delivery of wheat and barley contingent upon Turk Government making chrome available at accessible ports. The Turk Government has been pressing British to deliver 50,000 tons each of barley and wheat. A token shipment of 8500 tons of wheat has already been made to meet urgent request of Turk Government and with a view to encouraging acceleration of chrome deliveries, since it is understood by Turks that delivery of remainder of requested barley and wheat will be effected only against chrome deliveries.