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made it clear that the USSR was not inclined to be tender towards Japan. Eden adds that he favors a combined Anglo-American request to the Turkish Government to take this step, outside the scope of the Anglo-Turkish Alliance, 54 but based on the desirability of Turkey helping to shorten the war by making a concrete contribution to the Allied victory against Japan. The message states that our Governments could point out, apart from this consideration, that Turkey lies along the route between the Far East and Great Britain and that important Japanese points of observation of Allied operations would be removed by the rupture of Turkey's relations with Japan. In closing Mr. Eden expresses the view that at this stage Turkey should not be asked to declare war on Japan because he feels certain that Turkey would refuse on the justified grounds that Turkey could make no contribution to operations against the Japanese.
2. This message was sent to the Secretary of War 85 and to the Secretary of the Navy 86 on November 29, with request for their views as to the desirability of asking Turkey to sever diplomatic relations with Japan.
3. Identical replies have now been received from the War and Navy Departments stating that after studying the situation it has been found that there are a number of considerations which would make such a break advantageous from the point of view of our over-all military operations and that the two Departments know of no military disadvantage which would flow from Turkey's taking this step. The letters urged that the representations referred to by Mr. Eden should be made to the Turkish Government.
4. In view of the foregoing you are authorized to act in concert with your British colleague 87 and, as soon as the latter receives similar instructions from London, to take this question up with the Turkish authorities in the manner agreed between you as the most effective.
5. The suggestion has been made that the Turks might wish to go beyond a break in diplomatic relations and, having in mind the acquisition thereby of belligerent status, to declare war on Japan. In the circumstances the Department considers it most unlikely that the Turks will suggest this. However, if they should do so, the Department sees no particular reason why they should be discouraged in this connection provided no additional burden on Allied resources will be thereby involved.
84 Treaty of Mutual Assistance between the United Kingdom, France, and Turkey, signed at Ankara, October 19, 1939, League of Nations Treaty Series, vol. cc, p. 167; British Cmd. 6165, Treaty Series No. 4 (1940).
86 Henry L. Stimson. 88 James V. Forrestal.
Sir Hughe Knatchbull-Hugessen.
6. The British Embassy here is being advised of the foregoing. Sent Ankara, repeated to London, and to Moscow.
767.94/12–2844 : Telegram The Ambassador in Turkey (Steinhardt) to the Secretary of State
ANKARA, December 28, 1944—3. p. m.
[Received December 30–8:40 a. m.] 2421. Department's 1180, December 15 and my 2389, December 20 and 2416, December 27.88 I called on the Minister for Foreign Affairs 89 this morning to express to him the desirability of a severance of diplomatic relations between Turkey and Japan. I left with him an aide-mémoire drafted in agreement with the British Ambassador the English text of which reads as follows:
"In suggesting to the Turkish Government that it sever diplomatic relations with Japan, the Government of the United States believes that the Turkish Government may desire to help shorten the war by making a concrete contribution to the Allied víctory against Japan. At the same time, such a severance of diplomatic relations would have the effect of depriving the Japanese of important points of observation of Allied operations.”
Saka stated that without predetermining the reply his Government might make he could see little advantage to Turkey in taking the desired step but that if "Turkey's allies” believed such action would be to their advantage he was certain his Government would give the most careful consideration to the suggestion.
He then inquired as to the Russian point of view. I said that while I had no information as to the Russian position, it was my personal opinion that the Russians would see a decided advantage in a severance of diplomatic relations between Turkey and Japan as it would deprive the Japanese of a vantage point for espionage and observation purposes particularly at a time when the movement of war material to Russia through the Straits was imminent. Saka said he would discuss the matter with the Prime Minister 90 at the earliest possible moment and that there would be no unreasonable delay in the reply of the Turkish Government.
The British Ambassador is seeing Saka this afternoon to take the matter up with him and will leave with him an aide-mémoire substantially the same as ours. Please repeat to London and Moscow.
767.94/12–3044: Telegram The Ambassador in Turkey (Steinhardt) to the Secretary of State
ANKARA, December 30, 1944–5 p. m.
[Received 10:40 p. m.] 2434. Reference my 2421 December 28. The Minister of Foreign Affairs asked me to call this morning and after informing me that the Turk Government has decided to break off all economic and diplomatic relations with Japan handed me an aide-mémoire which in translation reads as follows:
“The Turk Government has taken note of the aide-mémoire which the Ambassador of the United States of America on instructions from his Government was good enough to hand the Minister of Foreign Affairs on December 27 concerning a rupture by Turkey of its diplomatic relations with Japan.
"The Government of the Republic notes that the request of the Government of the United States is based on the consideration that such a rupture in constituting a concrete combination [contribution] by Turkey to the Allied victory in the Far East would have the effect of shortening the duration of the World War.
“Thus this Government which ardently desires the rapid and complete victory of the Allies has decided to submit during the session the question of the rupture of its diplomatic and economic relations with Japan to the approval of the Grand National Assembly. Dated Ankara December 30."
Saka indicated that he did not anticipate any difficulty in obtaining the approval of the Grand National Assembly to the proposed rupture of relations with Japan. Please repeat to London and Moscow.
767.94/1-345 : Telegram The Ambassador in Turkey (Steinhardt) to the Secretary of State
ANKARA, January 3, 1945—7 p. m.
[Received 8:36 p. m.] 14. The Minister for Foreign Affairs announced to the Grand National Assembly this afternoon that the Turkish Government had officially broken off all diplomatic and economic relations with the Empire of Japan and that the action taken by the Government would become effective on January 6.
In his announcement to the Assembly, the text of which is not as yet available to me, Saka is reported to have stated that the decision of the Turkish Government to break off relations with Japan had been taken as the result of a friendly request by the American Ambassador, Mr. Steinhardt, and had been actuated by the friendly attitude of the US towards Turkey plus the fact that the views of the Turkish and American Governments with respect to the Axis countries were the same. He is reported to have further stated that the alliance between Great Britain and Turkey had also actuated the Turkish Government in that request of the American Government had been supported by the British Government.
Shortly after Saka had completed his announcement, the Grand National Assembly voted unanimously to support the action taken by the Government. Repeated to London as No. 1 and Moscow as No. 1.
DISCUSSIONS REGARDING PROPOSED LEND-LEASE AGREEMENT
BETWEEN THE UNITED STATES AND TURKEY"
[Negotiations for a preliminary lend-lease agreement between the United States and Turkey languished during the first four months of 1944, due to political differences that arose early in the year between the British and Turkish Governments. In this situation, American and British policy was closely coordinated, and lend-lease shipments to Turkey of American origin were discontinued. (For correspondence regarding this subject, see pages 814 ff.)
Though the Anglo-Turkish differences were clarified favorably in April and May, there was further delay in the lend-lease negotiations between the United States and Turkey because of the rise of a constitutional question within the United States Government. This involved a difference of opinion between Senator Arthur H. Vandenberg, ranking Republican member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and the Department of State, as to the extent of the treaty-making powers of the executive branch in the post-war implementation of article VII of the various lend-lease agreements. This question, arising in May, was resolved on August 8 and 9 by an exchange of letters (not printed), between the Acting Secretary of State, Edward R. Stettinius, Jr., and Senator Vandenberg, in which the Department undertook to add in the exchange of notes proposed with each agreement then pending a fourth article, as follows: "It is, of course, understood that in the implementation of the provisions of the agreement each Government will act in accordance with its own constitutional procedures."
This inclusion, along with certain minor technical changes, was communicated to the Ambassador in Turkey, Laurence A. Steinhardt, in instruction 460, August 17 (not printed), and the Ambassador was directed to secure the signing of the agreement “as soon as possible”.]
01 For previous correspondence, see Foreign Relations, 1943, vol. IV, pp. 1087 ff.
867.24/9–1244: Telegram The Ambassador in Turkey (Steinhardt) to the Secretary of State
ANKARA, September 12, 1944—11 p. m.
[Received September 13–10:41 p. m.] 1718. In conversation with the Prime Minister 92 today I inquired as to whether his Government had now prepared to sign the mutual aid agreement. Saraçoğlu replied that he was not familiar with the present status of the matter but that he would look into it at once and if as I assured him the text of the agreement had been virtually agreed upon at the time Lend-Lease shipments were discontinued there should be no difficulty in concluding the agreement in the near future. I told him that the changes we desired in the text were not of great importance and expressed the hope that he would direct the appropriate officials of the Foreign Office to give the matter their immediate attention.
800.24/9-2044 : Telegram The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Turkey (Steinhardt)
WASHINGTON, September 20, 1944—6 p. m. 811. All Middle Eastern lend lease agreements except Turkish are being signed in Washington with clear representations to the nations concerned that lend lease authority is limited to a period and purpose which are directly related to the war. This is interpreted to include end uses which contribute to the support and protection of American troops in Europe, even though hostilities may have terminated with Germany. No such contribution is expected in the case of Turkey, but lend lease goods in transit are not likely to be stopped for a few weeks after such termination. It is not contemplated, of course, that Turkey would make any contribution to the war against Japan, so that continued lend lease could hardly be expected for any such reason. It is not necessary to go into such detail with the Turks, but you should make sure that they have no expectation that they will get anything beyond the interpretation set forth in this telegram.
867.24/9–3044: Telegram The Ambassador in Turkey (Steinhardt) to the Secretary of State
ANKARA, September 30, 1944–8 p. m.
[Received October 1–5:40 a. m.] 1879. In conversation with the Prime Minister this morning, I again urged him to sign the mutual aid agreement. Saraçoğlu seemed
82 Sükrü Saraçoğlu.