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United States Department of State / Papers relating to the foreign relations of the United States, 1919

Turkey,   pp. 810-889 PDF (28.6 MB)

Page 868

had a considerable moral effect in securing the safety of Christian
lives and property pending action by the Peace Conference.
We would again point out that if America accepts a mandate for
the region visited by this Mission, it will undoubtedly do so from a
strong sense of international duty, and at the unanimous desire,
so-expressed at least, of its colleagues in the League of Nations.
Accepting this difficult task without previously securing the assur-
ance of conditions would be fatal to success. The United States
should make its own conditions as a preliminary to consideration of
the subject,-certainly before and not after acceptance, for there are
a multitude of interests that will conflict with what any American
Awould consider a proper administration of the country. Every
possible precaution against international complications should be
taken in advance. In our opinion there should be specific pledges in
terms of formal agreements with France and England, and definite
approval from Germany and Russia of the dispositions made of
Turkey and Transcaucasia, and a pledge to respect them.
Of particular importance are the following:
Absolute control of the foreign relations of the Turkish Empire,
no ambassador, envoy, minister, or diplomatic agent to be accredited
to Turkey, and the latter to send none such abroad.
Concessions involving exclusive privileges to be subject to review
if shown to be contrary to the best interests of the state.
Concessions undesirable from the standpoint of the mandatory
upon which work has not been started to be cancelled. Compensation
to be allowed to holders when necessary.
The system by which specified revenues are assigned for particular
purposes to be discarded. All revenues to be controlled by the
Treasury, and all creditors to look only to the Treasury as the source
of payment.
Foreign control, over Turkey's financial machinery to cease, mean-
ing the dissolution of the Council of Administration of the Ottoman
public debt, reserving the right to retain some individual members of
the Council as advisors because of their familiarity with Ottoman
All foreign obligations of the Empire to be unified and refunded.
Those countries receiving territory of the Turkish Empire, e.g.,
Syria, and Mesopotamia, to assume their reasonable share of the
paper currency, of the foreign obligations, and of obligation for
possible reparation payments.
Abrogation, on due notice, of existing commercial treaties with
All foreign governments and troops to vacate territorial limits of
mandate at dates to be fixed by the mandatory power.
Consent to many of these measures would not easily be obtained.
Many nations now have some sort of financial control within the
Ottoman Empire, and they would not see this control taken away
without protest.

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