Page:Ambassador Morgenthau's Story.djvu/60

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36
AMBASSADOR MORGENTHAU'S STORY

the Turkish Empire. The Turks knew that we had no desire to dismember their country or to mingle in Balkan politics. The very fact that my country was so disinterested was perhaps the reason why Talaat discussed Turkish affairs so freely with me. In the course of these conversations I frequently expressed my desire to serve them, and Talaat and some of the other members of the Cabinet got into the habit of consulting me on business matters. Soon after my arrival, I made a speech at the American Chamber of Commerce in Constantinople; Talaat, Djemal, and other important leaders were present. I talked about the backward economic state of Turkey and admonished them not to be discouraged. I described the condition of the United States after the Civil War and made the point that our devastated Southern States presented a spectacle not unlike that of Turkey at that present moment. I then related how we had gone to work, developed our resources, and built up the present thriving nation. My remarks apparently made a deep impression, especially my statement that after the Civil War the United States had become a large borrower in foreign money markets and had invited immigration from all parts of the world.

This speech apparently gave Talaat a new idea. It was not impossible that the United States might furnish him the material support which he had been seeking in Europe. Already I had suggested that an American financial expert should be sent to study Turkish finance and in this connection I had mentioned Mr. Henry Bruère, of New York—a suggestion which the Turks had received favourably. At that time Turkey's greatest need was money. France had financed Turkey for many years, and French bankers, in the spring