The Secretary of State to the Consul at Beirut ( Knabenshue )
Your telegram of November 4, 3 p.m. Please transmit following paragraph to Keeley:
“Department naturally wishes you to remain at your post if you have a real opportunity to afford consular protection to American nationals. The Department would not desire you to remain, however, if, as the situation develops, no useful purpose could be served by your presence other than political and reporting work and if by staying you would be needlessly exposed to danger.”
Department desires that you, as supervising consular officer for Syria, consult with Keeley regarding the propriety of his staying at Damascus. Keeley may close the consulate at Damascus and join you at Beirut if you both think it best.
If a critical situation should develop at Aleppo the same considerations would apply to Consul Altaffer there.