Skip to main content

Rear Admiral Mark L. Bristol, Senior Naval Officer Present, and United States High Commissioner, Turkey, to Admiral William S. Benson, Chief of Naval Operations

Form A.

Action Copy.                                     File No.

CABLEGRAM RECEIVED            21 February 1919.

Origin Simsadus London                      Ser. No. 1100

Ref’d. to











  Amnavpar Paris


For Benson.

     Following received from Bristol quote It becomes ever more evident with investigation that the present blockade of Turkey is continuing to increase the hardships and suffering of the masses especially the poor people. Send<ing> food and supplies will ameliorate the suffering but will not bring real relief even to the subjugated race. The distribution of relief supplies to certain races while another race living mingled with them is destitute and suffering may be justified but is not humane especially if it can be avoided without condoning the offenses of that race. The few in this country who have money are not suffering from any deprivation and this few are chiefly those who by bad management are responsible for the deplorable conditions here and directed and influenced heedless masses of ignorant and fanatic people to commit horrible atrocities. The blockade does not punish this few. The blockade does tend to increase the bad monetary condition with badly deprecated paper money fluctuating in value. While a part of this guilty country, Syria and Palestine, is relieved from blockade why should the remainder suffer from it question. It is deserving of raising strongest blockade. Could possibly permit Turks to increase her military power and starv<ing> and suffering are disturbing the peace of this country by driving the husbandmen of the land into the mountains as brigands. The spring almost here must be the best time to rehabilitate this country. It is my strong belief and I urge for the sake of human<ity> and the added peace of the world that this blockade be raised immediately. It is advisable to regulate trade to prevent profiteering and reexporting but it is not a necessity. 083521. Unquote.


Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B.