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the subject of direct negotiations between each of the Three Powers and the Turkish Government. In accordance with this, the Soviet Government on August 7 of this year addressed to the Turkish Government a note which is transcribed below:

"The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the USSR has the honor to inform the Turkish Government of the following:

"Events which occurred during the past war clearly indicated that the regime of the Black Sea Straits, established by the Straits Convention, signed in 1936 at Montreux, does not meet the interests of the safety of the Black Sea Powers and does not insure conditions under which the use of these Straits for purposes inimical to the Black Sea Powers would be prevented.

"It will suffice to mention a series of incidents during this war, when the Axis Powers directed their warships and auxiliary craft through the Straits into the Black Sea and out of the Black Sea, which in turn gave rise to the corresponding steps and protests registered by the Soviet Government with the Turkish Government.

"On July 9, 1941 the German command sent the German patrol boat 'Seefalke' through the Straits into the Black Sea, which was a gross violation of the Straits Convention and called forth a protest to the Turkish Government on the part of the Soviet Government.

"In August 1941, Turkish authorities gave the Italian auxiliary war vessel Tarvizio' permission to pass through the Straits into the Black Sea, which likewise called forth a representation on the part of the Soviet Government, calling to the attention of the Turkish Government the fact that the passage of the Italian auxiliary vessel into the Black Sea would appear to be a violation of the Straits Convention. "On November 4, 1942, the Soviet Government again called to the attention of the Turkish Government the fact that Germany planned to send to the Black Sea through the Straits auxiliary war ships under the guise of merchant vessels with a total displacement of 140,000 tons. These vessels were intended for the transfer of military forces and war materials of the Axis countries into the Black Sea. In its representation, the Soviet Government emphasized the fact that 'the admission of the aforementioned vessels through the Straits into the Black Sea would be an obvious violation of the Convention regarding the regime of the Straits concluded in Montreux, inasmuch as these vessels are left at the disposal of the German Government and are in reality auxiliary warships.'

"In June 1944, the Soviet Government registered a protest against the fact that toward the end of May and early in June of 1944 there took place a series of passages through the Straits from the Black Sea into the Aegean Sea of German warships and auxiliary warships of varying tonnage of the 'Ems' (8 vessels) and 'Kriegtransport' (5 vessels) types, which had taken part in the naval operations in the Black Sea.

"It is obvious from the aforementioned facts that at the time of the past war with Germany and her allies, the Straits Convention did not prevent the enemy powers from using the Straits for military purposes against the U. S. S. R. and other allied powers, with the Turkish Government not being able to escape the responsibility for this situation.

"In view of this, the Soviet Government suggested to the Berlin Conference of the Three Powers-Great Britain, the United States of

America and the Soviet Union, which took place in July and August 1945, to discuss the question that the regime of the Straits, established by the Montreux Convention, does not conform to present conditions and that it is necessary to establish a new regime of the Straits. As is known, the Berlin Conference of the Three Powers adopted a resolution consisting of the following:

"a) The three governments declared that the Convention regarding the Straits, concluded in Montreux, should be revised, as it does not meet the conditions of the present time;

"b) The three governments agreed that as the proper course the said question would be the subject of direct negotiations between each of the three powers and the Turkish Government.

"The Soviet Government is also acquainted with the contents of the note of November 2, 1945 of the Government of the United States of America and with the note of the British Government of November 21, 1945 addressed to the Government of Turkey on this question.

"For its own part, the Soviet Government proposes to establish for the Straits a new regime, proceeding from the following principles: "1) The Straits should be always open to the passage of merchant ships of all countries.

2) The Straits should be always open to the passage of warships of the Black Sea Powers.

"3) Passage through the Straits for warships not belonging to the Black Sea Powers shall not be permitted except in cases specially provided for.

"4) The establishment of a regime of the Straits, as the sole sea passage, leading from the Black Sea and to the Black Sea, should come under the competence of Turkey and other Black Sea Powers.

"5) Turkey and the Soviet Union, as the powers most interested and capable of guaranteeing freedom to commercial navigation and security in the Straits, shall organize joint means of defense of the Straits, for the prevention of the utilization of the Straits by other countries for aims hostile to the Black Sea Powers.

"The Soviet Government is informing the governments of the United States of America and Great Britain regarding the present declaration."

The Soviet Union has directed me to bring this to the knowledge of the Government of the United States of America.

Accept [etc.]

Acting Secretary of State DEAN ACHESON,
Department of State, Washington.

SIR:

FEDOR OREKHOV

August 19, 1946.

I acknowledge receipt of your note of August 7, 1946, which sets forth the text of the note addressed on the same day by the Government of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics to the Government of the Republic of Turkey and express the appreciation of this Government for the courtesy of the Soviet Government in making this information available.

It will be recalled that the American Embassy in Moscow made available to the Soviet Government in November 1945 a copy of the

note which the American Embassy in Ankara delivered to the Turkish Government on November 2, 1945.1

This Government has given careful study to the views expressed by the Soviet Government in its note to the Turkish Government. It would appear from a comparison of this Government's note of November 2, 1945, with the Soviet note to the Turkish Government of August 7, 1946, that the views of the Governments of the United States and of the Soviet Union, while not in entire accord, are in general agreement with regard to the three following proposals set forth in the Soviet note:

"1. The Straits should be always open to the passage of merchant ships of all countries.

2. The Straits should be always open to the passage of warships of the Black Sea powers.

"3. Passage through the Straits for warships not belonging to the Black Sea powers shall not be permitted except in cases specially provided for."

The fourth proposal set forth in the Soviet note does not appear to envisage a revision of the Montreux Convention, as suggested in our note to the Turkish Government of November 2, 1945, but rather the establishment of a new régime which would be confined to Turkey and the other Black Sea powers. It is the view of this Government that the régime of the Straits is a matter of concern not only to the Black Sea powers but also to other powers, including the United States. This Government cannot, therefore, agree with the Soviet view that the establishment of the régime of the Straits should come under the competence of the Black Sea powers to the exclusion of other powers.

The fifth proposal set forth in the note of the Soviet Government was that Turkey and the Soviet Union should organize joint means of defense of the Straits. It is the firm opinion of this Government that Turkey should continue to be primarily responsible for the defense of the Straits. Should the Straits become the object of attack or threat of attack by an aggressor, the resulting situation would constitute a threat to international security and would clearly be a matter for action on the part of the Security Council of the United Nations.

It is observed that the note of the Soviet Government contains no reference to the United Nations. The position of the Government of the United States is that the régime of the Straits should be brought into appropriate relationship with the United Nations and should function in a manner entirely consistent with the principles and aims of the United Nations.

The Government of the United States reaffirms its willingness to participate in a conference called to revise the Montreux Convention. Accept [etc.]

DEAN ACHESON Acting Secretary of State

1 Substance of note printed in Department of State Bulletin of November 11, 1945, p. 766.

(b) Note Delivered by W. Bedell Smith, United States Ambassador to the U. S. S. R., to the Soviet Foreign Office on October 9, 1946 1

I have the honor to inform Your Excellency that my Government has studied carefully the contents of the note of the Soviet Union to Turkey of September 24 relating to the regime of the Straits.

In pursuance of its policy of making clear to all interested parties its views on matters relating to the Straits, my Government has instructed me to inform you that after examining the note referred to above it continues to adhere to the position outlined in its note of August 19, 1946 to the Soviet Government.

It will be recalled that in the Protocol of the proceedings of the Potsdam Conference, signed by the U. S. S. R., Great Britain and the United States, the three Governments recognized that the Convention on the Straits concluded at Montreux should be revised as failing to meet present-day conditions. It was further agreed in the Protocol that as the next step the matter should be the subject of direct conversations between each of the three Governments and the Turkish Government.

It has been the understanding of my Government that the three Governments, in agreeing with one another that the regime of the Straits should be brought into accord with present-day conditions by means of a revision of the Montreux Convention, mutually recognized that all three signatories of the Protocol have an interest in the regime of the Straits and in any changes which might be made in that regime. My Government furthermore informed the Soviet Government in its note of August 19, that in its view the regime of the Straits is a matter of concern not only to the Black Sea powers but also to other powers, including the United States. The Soviet Government, nevertheless, in its note of September 24, apparently continues to take the position set forth in its note of August 7 to Turkey that "the establishment of a regime of the Straits . . should come under the competence of Turkey and the other Black Sea powers". My Government does not consider that it was contemplated at the Potsdam Conference that the direct conversations which might take place between any one of the three signatory governments and the Turkish Government with regard to the regime of the Convention of the Straits concluded at Montreux should have the effect of prejudicing the participation of the other two signatory powers in the revision of the regime of the Straits. On the contrary, my Government considers that the Potsdam Agreement definitely contemplated only an exchange of views with the Turkish Government as a useful preliminary to a conference of all of the interested powers, including the United States, to consider the revision of the Montreux Convention. As stated in its note of August 19, my Government stands ready to participate in such a conference.

My Government also feels that it would be lacking in frankness if it should fail to point out again at this time, in the most friendly spirit, that in its opinion the Government of Turkey should continue to be primarily responsible for the defense of the Straits and that should the Straits become the object of attack or threat of attack by an aggressor, the resulting situation would be a matter for action on the part of the Security Council of the United Nations.

1 Department of State Bulletin of October 20, 1946, p. 722.

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