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cedure. In view, however, of the capitulation of Germany, I assume that the objections of your Government are now withdrawn. In this connection I beg to add that the furnishing of milk from the United States for the children of Poland will now be dealt with under the supervision of Mr. Hoover, in his capacity of Special Representative of the President to confer personally as to means for furnishing food and other supplies to the peoples who have been freed from the control of the enemy. Accept [etc.]

ROBERT LANSING

RELIEF IN TURKISH TERRITORIES

File No. 867.48/517
The Ambassador in Turkey (Elkus) to the Secretary of State

[Telegram)
CONSTANTINOPLE, January 8, 1917, noon.

[Received January 10, 8 a, m.] 2387. Djemal Pasha 1 requests that three-fourths of Caesar's supplies be landed at Beirut for distribution to Palestine poor and one-fourth at Jaffa.? Does Department approve?

ELKUS

File No. 867.48/521
The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Turkey (Elkus)

[Telegram]

WASHINGTON, January 18, 1917, 5 p. m. 3280. Your 2387, January 8. Red Cross and Committee for Syrian Relief state that Djemal Pasha's request would largely divert relief supplies from original purposes for which funds were solicited. If possible have all supplies landed and distributed at Beirut. Only if absolutely necessary concession may be made to have one-fourth landed at Jaffa, on condition that Philip 3 and Red Cross representatives from Beirut proceed to Jaffa and supervise distribution there.

LANSING File No. 867.48/542 The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Turkey (Elkus)

[Telegram]

WASHINGTON, February 15, 1917, 4 p. m. 3352. Your 2457.4 Prior to severing diplomatic relations with Germany, Department had desired consent of Turkish Government

2

1 Turkish Minister of Marine.

See Department's circular telegram of Dec. 19, 1916, Foreign Relations, 1916, Supplement, p. 940.

Hoffman Philip, Counselor of the Embassy at Constantinople. * Not printed.

3

for Caesar to enter Mersine. Both Des Moines and Caesar, however, have been ordered to remain Alexandria until further notice.

LANSING

File No. 867.48/549
The Ambassador in Turkey (Elkus) to the Secretary of State

[Telegram]
CONSTANTINOPLE, February 12, 1917, 9 a. m.

[Received February 17, 12.30 a. m.] 2480. Have received a telegram from Djemal Pasha stating that he is satisfied that all of Caesar's cargo be unloaded at Beirut for distribution as heretofore agreed; that Cacsar may take passengers for Europe and that such passengers will only be detained in Beirut to comply with necessary formalities for one or two days. Djemal also requests that a second shipload be sent to Jaffa as the population of Jaffa and Jerusalem are in great need and that further supplies be sent to Beirut, all of which will be distributed in the same manner as Caesar cargo. Djemal agrees that Des Moines go to Jaffa to take wines and books as agreed and probably go to Beirut for passengers. Will have matter of Des Moines going to Beirut definitely settled again. All telegrams from interior much delayed owing to weather.

Have received telephone messages from War Office that German and Austrian submarines will in no way interfere with Des Moines and Caesar. Have asked Foreign Office to confirm this in writing and if Department approves will insist same should be obtained by Turkish Minister for Foreign Affairs from Germany and Austria unless Department desires to obtain it through Austrian Embassy or mission in charge of German interests in America. Great need of food in Syria and Lebanon and if Department agrees that it is safe, I respectfully urge sending Caesar and also taking away Americans desiring to leave on Des Moines and Caesar.

Please read my telegram January 29 [25] 1 to Warburg and urge immediate answer. Many Americans who have received permission to leave cannot do so because they have no [funds] to defray passage from Spain or Italy to America, but claim that people in America will furnish them with same as soon as they arrive, therefore want to borrow money for 60 or 90 days promising to repay same upon arrival in the United States. I requested Warburg to lend $50,000 for this reason and suggested that lending this money will avoid supporting these people.

ELKUS

Not printed.

File No. 867.48/549

The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Turkey (Elkus)

[Telegram]

WASHINGTON, February 20, 1917, 5 p. m. 3363. Your 2480, February 12, 9 a. m. Upon notice from you that the Turkish Government has received and delivered to you written guarantees from German and Austrian Embassies that submarines of these countries will not interfere with Des Moines and Caesar, Department will instruct these ships to proceed to Jaffa and Beirut in accordance with terms of agreement with Turkish Government. Has Turkish Government authorized Des Moines to go to Mersine? Department has not yet received answer from Warburg. Paraphrase of your 2480 sent him.

LANSING

File No. 867.48/556

T'he Ambassador in Turkey (Elkus) to the Secretary of State

[Telegram]

CONSTANTINOPLE, February 23, 1917, 9 p. m.

[Received February 26, 8.20 p. m.] 2513. Your 3363, February 20, 5 p. m., received yesterday and contents immediately communicated orally to Turkish Foreign Minister. Note from Foreign Office dated February 22, written before above communication, stated that according to the Turkish War Office Imperial authorities did not dispose of [have at their disposal] means to pilot Caesar and Des Moines on entering and leaving the ports at which they call, but should these vessels arrive during the day the local authorities would take the necessary steps. Said War Office further stated that German Admiralty had informed it that said Admiralty had instructed the submarines to allow the Caesar and Des Moines to pass, but seeing that errors in the blockaded zone are not impossible their safety could not be guaranteed. On the 21st instant Minister had told me Germans could not guarantee against danger from floating mines but note of the 22d instant mentions nothing concerning latter. Am sending the Sublime Porte note embodying your 3363, urging immediate reply, and will telegraph same as soon as received. Has Department any further instructions?

ELKUS

File No. 867.48/556
The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Turkey (Elkus)

[Telegram]

WASHINGTON, February 27, 1917, 4 p. m. 3379. Your 2513, February 23, leaves Department greatly in doubt as to situation. Important that matter be settled definitely, once and for all, immediately. Des Moines and Caesar cannot be sent to Beirut unless Turkish Government furnishes positive guarantee, both from itself and from German and Austrian Embassies, as to the safety of these ships.

LANSING

File No. 867.48/619
The Spanish Ambassador (Riaño) to the Assistant Secretary of State

(Phillips)

WASHINGTON, March 27, 1917.

[Received March 28.] MY DEAR MR. SECRETARY: Referring to our informal conversation upon the subject of the relief of Christians in Syria, I beg to inform you confidentially that, according to advice received from Madrid on March 11 ultimo, His Majesty the King of Spain had been asked by His Holiness the Pope to cooperate in the work of relief of Christian prisoners in Palestine, and especially of those at Mount Lebanon and Jerusalem, of which more than a hundred thousand have perished from hunger.

In spite of the great difficulties of this undertaking, His Majesty the King and His Government have decided in principle to give it their earnest support, on the condition however, that the committee formed in the United States for the relief of these Christians shall give its moral and material support to the enterprise.

I was therefore instructed to get in touch with this committee and to ask if it was prepared to give the moral and material support in question; and, acting upon my instructions, I suggested that money and foodstuffs might be sent from the United States to a Spanish port, and thence transhipped to a Spanish bottom which would take them to Asia Minor.

Up to the present time I have not succeeded in obtaining a categorical reply to my question, either from the Joint Distribution Committee of 52 William Street, New York, or from the American Committee for Armenian and Syrian Relief, of 1 Madison Avenue, New York, with both of which I have corresponded; and as I

understand that a great part of the relief work which was previously carried on by these Committees has been taken over by the American Government, I am taking the liberty of addressing to you the question which I put to them, with the request that you inform me of your views in regard to the proposition which I made on behalf of my Government. Believe me [etc.]

JUAN RIAÑO

File No. 367.11/1972c

The Secretary of State to the Spanish Ambassador (Riaño)

WASHINGTON, March 28, 1917. MY DEAR MR. AMBASSADOR: In acknowledging the receipt of your note of March 27, referring to the offer of His Majesty the King of Spain, made through you to the Joint Distribution Committee and to the American Committee for Armenian and Syrian Relief, to cooperate with them in their work for the destitute inhabitants of Syria and Palestine, and particularly suggesting that money and foodstuffs might be sent from the United States to a Spanish port and thence transshipped to a Spanish bottom which would take them to Asia Minor, I desire to express the cordial appreciation of the Department for this offer by His Majesty the King, and to inquire whether in the circumstances it might be possible; if the relief supplies were thus sent by Spanish ships to Syria and Palestine, for these ships, after the food and medicine had been distributed, to convey American citizens from Syria to a Spanish port. According to the information possessed by the Department, there are about 1,500 American citizens in Syria and Palestine, of which number approximately 100 are American missionaries. I am [etc.]

ROBERT LANSING

File No. 867.48/576
T'he Ambassador in Turkey (Elkus) to the Secretary of State

[Telegram]
CONSTANTINOPLE, March 23, 1917, 9 p. m.

[Received March 29, 1 a. m.] 2563. Your 2557, March 18, 10 a. m. Yesterday called at Foreign Office and urged Turkish Government to insist on a reply from Germans and Austrians. I was informed German reply had just arrived. It was communicated by note to-day. It states that Turkish War Office agrees in principle to the Des Moines calling at Jaffa to land medical supplies and take on board Deinard books.

* Not printed; see Department's telegram No. 3379, Feb. 27, ante, p. 541.

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