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ritual wines, to call at Beirut and later at Mersine to land provisions and clothing for British prisoners of war.
Caesar to go to Beirut, land provisions which will be delivered to American Consul to be distributed by representatives of Red Cross and Red Crescent to the indigent in Syria and the Lebanon.
These two ships will then take on board American citizens and proceed to a European port.
Turkish note further states that German high naval command has declared that it is ready, in the following conditions, and so long as the present situation between the United States and Germany does not transform itself into a state of war:
(1) To transmit instructions to submarines operating in the eastern Mediterranean to allow Caesar and Des Moines free passage to Beirut, Jaffa, and Mersine and to return from these ports as far as the entry into the neutral channel.
(2) For this it is stipulated that American Government will agree to have these ships travel on dates, hours, and roads exactly determined; (a) detailed and precise information must be furnished as to date when these ships will arrive Syrian coast; (6) these ships must fly day and night at their mainmast large Àmerican national flag which they must have illuminated at night. These ships must follow from entry into the Mediterranean the neutral road left open to Greek navigation situated to the west of 30° 20' east longitude as indicated on sketch enclosed. These ships must follow absolutely said route in order to occasion no incident.
(3) Said German command expects at earliest possible date delivery of an exact itinerary for these ships.
This itinerary must be in the hands of the German Naval General Staff at Berlin fully four weeks before the voyage begins so that it can notify the submarine boats thereof with certitude.
(4) Still German command is not in a position to guarantee these American ships an unimpeded passage across the Aegean Sea or to give guarantees of any nature whatsoever against the risks arising from mine fields, even its own.
(5) German command cannot guarantee against enemy weapons. British and French submarine boats are said to operate in the castern Mediterranean and enemy naval forces have even laid mine fields before ports on the coast of Asia Minor and Syria.
(6) As to calling at a European port the said German authorities cannot undertake to guarantee their security against own submarine boats or mine fields unless the American ships, after leaving Ottoman harbors, follow road, on dates and hours exactly determined, directly leading into the neutral channel giving access into the Mediterranean, in order to call, without in any way entering waters declared to be war zone, at a European port situated outside said war zone.
Consequently German Naval General Staff at Berlin expects information likewise of itinerary to be followed to the neutral channel as well as dates and hours to be fixed.
The Sublime Porte states nothing as to a reply from Austria. Will draw Porte's attention to this to-morrow and will telegraph reply as soon as received.
In this connection attention is called to my No. 2558, March 18, 10 p. m.; like rumors still prevail but without any confirmation. A further rumor is that the Turkish Cabinet is divided into two factions, one headed by the Grand Vizier, favoring Turkish independent action, and the other headed by Enver 2 to follow Germany unreservedly.
File No. 867.48/576
The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Turkey (Elkus)
WASHINGTON, April 3, 1917, 5 p. m. 3481. Your 2563, March 23. Spanish Government has offered to furnish ship to transport relief supplies from New York and Alexandria to Syria, and also medical supplies to Palestine. Department has accepted offer with thanks and inquired whether this ship will be available to remove Americans from Syria and Palestine.
File No. 867.48/608
of State (Phillips)
WASIIINGTON, May 2, 1917.
[Received May 3.] MY DEAR MR. SECRETARY: Confirming our conversation over the telephone this afternoon, I beg to inform you that I have received a telegram from the Minister of Foreign Affairs in Madrid, in which he says that in order to organize a service for the relief of Christians in Syria, he would like to know what quantity of foodstuffs the Joint Relief Committee is prepared to send to Spain, as a ship must be selected to transport them from Spain to Asia Minor.
The Minister also instructs me to enquire the amount of foodstuffs and medicines on the Caesar in order to arrange that the ship sent with provisions from Spain, after landing them at Beirut, may collect the supplies from the Caesar and return with them to Beirut, taking on board there, if possible, for Spain, the American citizens who may be in that district.
According to my telegram, Germany accepts in principle that a Spanish relief ship should be sent to Asia Minor, but requires to be notified six weeks in advance, of the date and details of the trip.
Although in view of these conditions this trip will not be able to take place before two months from now, the difficulty in finding a suitable ship to take it is so great, that it is very important to obtain as soon as possible the information which is asked, and I shall esteem it a great favor if you will kindly help me to procure it. Believe me [etc.]
File No. 867.48/608
WASHINGTON, May 4, 1917. MY DEAR MR. AMBASSADOR: I beg to acknowledge the receipt of your note of May 2, stating that you have received a telegram from the Minister of Foreign Affairs in Madrid in which he says that in order to organize a service for the relief of Christians in Syria he would like to know what quantity of foodstuffs the Joint Relief Committee is prepared to send to Spain, as a ship must be selected to transport it from Spain to Asia Minor.
In reply I beg to inform you that the character and quantity of the relief supplies contained on the U.S. collier Caesar, according to the statement made to the Department by the American Red Cross, is as follows:
5, 000 gallons cottonseed oil
1,000 cases condensed milk
several cases chloroform and ether
American colony in Beirut
The Navy Department has informed the Department that the above-mentioned supplies occupied 81,500 cubic feet in the hold of the U.S. collier Caesar, and that a small, unmeasured quantity of supplies was carried on the deck.
In a despatch dated March 21, 1917, Mr. Hoffman Philip, Counselor of the American Eribassy at Constantinople, who was detailed to accompany the Caesar to supervise the distribution of the relief supplies, reports concerning a slight damage to the cargo during its
voyage from New York to Alexandria. The summary of his report is as follows:
CARGO SUBMITTED TO JETTISON
The American Committee for Armenian and Syrian Relief and the Red Cross understood that the Navy Department was to furnish them with more tonnage on the Caesar than was actually the case, with the result that much greater quantities of supplies were purchased than could be transported, and a large quantity of supplies intended for relief in Syria remained in storage in New York. The Department has no information as to the exact quantities of these relief supplies still remaining in New York, but will obtain it for you if the Spanish Government is considering the sending of a ship to New York for the transportation of relief supplies from that place to Syria.
In February, 1916, the U. S. collier Sterling transported from this country certain medical supplies intended for the Jewish hospitals at Jerusalem. The Navy Department informs the Department that the report of the commanding officer of the ship to the Navy Department states that there were about 25 tons of medicines and chemicals for Palestine on this ship. The Sterling was unable to land these supplies at Jaffa, and instead they were landed at Alexandria, where they have since remained. I am [etc.]
Fie No. 867.48/611
State (Phillips) 1
[Received May 11.] My Dear Mr. SECRETARY: I beg to acknowledge the receipt of your note of May 4, informing me of the relief supplies which are on board the U. S. colliers Caesar' and Sterling, the latter of which have been landed at Alexandria.
* On May 15 copies of this note were forwarded to the American Committee for Armenian and Syrian Relief and the American Red Cross.
I have at once telegraphed this information to my Government.
Respecting the other supplies which you say that the American Committee for Armenian and Syrian Relief and the Red Cross have provided and are in storage in New York, I regret to say that the
Ι Spanish Government cannot at present take into consideration sending a ship to collect them in New York, but if these supplies can be sent to Spain, every effort will be made to forward them thence, in a Spanish ship, to Asia Minor. Believe me [etc.]
File No. 867.48/640
and Syrian Relief 1
WASHINGTON, August 24, 1917. GENTLEMEN: With reference to a letter received from Dr. James L. Barton, under date of August 20, you are hereby informed that the Department recognizes your Committee as authorized to transmit relief funds to persons, other than enemy subjects, in Turkey, subject to such conditions and limitations as may be laid down by the Department, and with due regard to such legislation as may now or subsequently be in force. In general it may be said that individual remittances may be transmitted so long as these do not exceed $125 per person per month, and relief funds in bulk may be forwarded with the understanding that you will report to the Department monthly the amounts so transmitted. It is further understood that these funds shall be transmitted only through the Société de Banque Suisse at Geneva, its correspondent in Constantinople, and the neutral relief agents in Turkey mentioned in Doctor Barton's letter. The Department reserves to itself the right to withdraw this authorization at any time.
It is expected that you will institute a system whereby, in the case of individual remittances, signed receipts will be returned from each individual payee, and whereby duplication of remittances to the same person in one month will be checked and prevented.
*Letters authorizing in similar terms the transmission of relief funds to Palestine for distribution through the agency of Mr. Hoofien were sent to the Joint Distribution Committee, Aug. 24, and the Provisional Executive Committee for General Zionist Affairs, Sept. 22. (File Nos. 867.48/638, 649.)
Chairman of the Committee. * Not printed.