763.72119/2791: Telegram

The Diplomatic Agent and Consul General at Cairo ( Gary ) to the Secretary of State

226. I have the honor to quote as follows the official text of a joint declaration by the British and French Governments:4

“The aim which France and Great Britain have in view in waging in the East the war let loose upon the world by German ambition is to ensure the complete and final emancipation of all those peoples so long oppressed by the Turks, and to establish national governments and administrations which shall derive their authority from the initiative and free will of the people themselves. To realize this aim France and Great Britain are in agreement to encourage and assist the establishment of native governments in Syria and Mesopotamia, now liberated by the Allies, and also in those territories [Page 275] for whose liberation they are striving and to recognize these governments immediately they are effectively established. Far from wishing to impose on the peoples of these regions this or that institution they have no other care than to assure, by their support and practical aid the normal working of such governments and administrations as the peoples shall themselves have adopted. To guarantee impartial and even justice for all, to facilitate the economic development of the country by arousing and encouraging local initiative, to foster the spread of education, to put an end to those factions too long exploited by Turkish policy—such is the part which the two allied governments have set themselves to play in liberated territories.”

The above declaration was published in the local press on November 8th as an official communiqué and was reported to the Department in my despatch number 7100 of November 11th,5 but the rapid development of the political situation here has decided me to telegraph the text of the declaration.

In a conversation with British High Commissioner he said that he was in doubt as to what effect this declaration might have in Egypt. I believe he fears Egypt may make claims for somewhat similar treatment.

  1. By Department’s telegram No. 35, Dec. 30, 1918, 5 p.m., the text of this declaration was repeated to the Commission to Negotiate Peace.
  2. Not printed.