The Ambassador in France (Herrick) to the Secretary of State

No. 3908

Sir: With reference to your telegraphic Instruction No. 26, January 12 [21], 4 [3] p.m., Paragraph 2, I have the honor to transmit herewith copy and translation in triplicate of the draft note which is to be written by the Minister for Foreign Affairs on the occasion of the signing of the Franco-American Convention relative to Syria and the Lebanon.

This note was sent to me by the Foreign Office with the statement that they only desire to meet your wishes and are prepared to conclude matters as soon as you have either signified your approval or indicated any modifications in the text of the note which you may desire.

I have [etc.]

Myron T. Herrick

Draft of Note To Be Sent by the French Minister for Foreign Affairs (Poincaré) to the American Ambassador (Herrick)

Mr. Ambassador: By your letter of December 18th last,10 Your Excellency was good enough to make known the points which your Government would like to have defined in view of the conclusion of the convention relative to the Mandate of France in Syria and the Lebanon.

The Federal Government would like to receive the assurance that its nationals, as well as itself, will benefit in these countries by the most favorable treatment resulting not only from the Agreement recently concluded between France and Italy, but by all other agreements or conventions which may be concluded between the French Government and other governments concerning Syria and the Lebanon. The French Government willingly gives this assurance to the Government of the United States of America.

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In the second place, the Federal Government desires that it should be agreed that the extradition treaties concluded between the United States and France should be applicable to the Syrian and Lebanon territories. I have the honor to point out to Your Excellency that Article 7 of the Mandate provides that: “while awaiting the conclusion of special extradition conventions, the extradition treaties in force between foreign Powers and the Mandatory shall be applied in the territories of Syria and the Lebanon”. On this account, the extradition treaties between the United States and France are already applicable and would only cease to be so if the Federal Government should desire to have substituted therefor a convention applying especially to the mandated countries.

Lastly, the Federal Government expresses the desire that the Consular Convention in force between the United States and France may also be applicable in Syria and the Lebanon and especially those of its provisions which refer to the immunities and privileges of consuls. The French Government would very willingly introduce a clause on this subject into the draft convention to be concluded with the United States of America if, on account of the peculiar regime of the mandated countries, the insertion of this clause in a convention might not cause reactions, as regards a still undetermined number of other states, whose bearing it is difficult to foresee. Therefore, the French Government thinks it preferable to give in the present letter to the Federal Government the assurance that it will see no objection to the establishment, in any part of Syria and the Lebanon where the Federal Government might deem it useful, of consuls, vice-consuls and consular agents of the United States who will enjoy the treatment accorded by international custom. It also gives the assurance that as far as the privileges and immunities attached to their duties are concerned, the consuls and vice-consuls of the United States will benefit by all the provisions of the Franco American Convention of 1853, it being understood that the said consuls and vice-consuls shall be citizens of the United States.

The French Government having agreed, at the request of the Federal Government, not to maintain in favor of consuls of both countries the right stipulated in the Convention of 1853 to request the arrest in the United States and in France of deserters from war and merchant ships, it is understood, on the other hand, that this right will not be exercised by the consuls of France with regard to Syrian and Lebanon sailors in the United States.

I would be much obliged if Your Excellency would be good enough to inform me if these assurances give satisfaction to the Federal Government and allow it to proceed to the signature of the draft convention drawn up on July 13, 1922, with the sole changes in [Page 735] drafting proposed by Your Excellency and recalled in the enclosure herewith.11

Please accept, Mr. Ambassador, the assurances of my very high consideration.

  1. See Department’s telegram no. 466, December 17, 1923, to the Ambassador in France, Foreign Relations, 1923, vol. ii, p. 6.
  2. Enclosure not printed. For the draft convention drawn up in 1922, see Foreign Relations, 1922, vol. ii, p. 131.