711.673/81: Telegram

The Commissioner at Constantinople ( Heck ) to the Acting Secretary of State

53. On the 19th January 1919, High Commissioners of three Allied Powers informed Turkish Government that the abrogation of capitulations was illegal; further that the point of view taken on this subject in an identic note from the Ambassador[s] of France, [Page 815] Great Britain and Italy on the 10th September 1914,5 is still maintained in its entirety. Further, in order not to increase injuries inflicted upon their subjects for which reparation will be demanded at proper time, and while making reservations as to conditions of judicial regime which the Entente may deem desirable to establish in Turkey, the three High Commissioners have demanded that Turkish Government give urgent and explicit instructions that all measures which originated in the laws and regulations and decrees subsequent to capitulations since 1914 shall begin [cease] to apply to subjects of Entente on 30th of January. Three High Commissioners demanded that Turkish Government give similar orders [as] to subjects of Belgium, Greece, Montenegro, Roumania and Servia.

In view of these facts and for reasons above cited it is recommended, in which recommendation Admiral Bristol concurs, that a similar note referring to the protest of our Ambassador of September 18th, 1915 [1914],6 be addressed to the Turkish Government, to be presented by Swiss [Swedish] Legation.

  1. See Foreign Relations, 1914, pp. 10911093.
  2. See instruction to the Ambassador in Turkey, Sept. 16, 1914, ibid., p. 1093.