The Secretary of State to the Consul General at Beirut ( Goold )
Sir: There is enclosed a copy of despatch No. 1336 of March 13, 1931, from the Embassy at Paris,66 as well as a copy of a note from the French Foreign Office67 enclosed therewith, regarding the customs exemptions which have been accorded to American educational and philanthropic institutions in the Levant States under French Mandate.
The information contained in this despatch corresponds in large measure with that contained in despatch No. 153 of March 12, 1931, from your Consulate General. So far as the Department is able to determine, the general principle governing customs immunities to be accorded to American educational and philanthropic institutions has now been settled in accordance with the views of this Government. Although it appears from the Consulate General’s despatch under reference that questions of procedure are likely to arise from time to time, such as the matter of the importation of automobiles for the use of these institutions, it is probable that these questions can generally be settled by negotiation between the Consulate General and the French High Commission. However, if a question should arise which proves impossible of settlement in this manner, you should request the Department for instructions.
In the copy of the note from the French Foreign Office, which accompanied the above mentioned despatch from the Embassy at Paris, it is noted that the statement is made that the excess sums which had been paid during recent years by American institutions as import duties, and which had been set aside to the credit of the Consulate General, have now been released. It is requested that you inform the Department whether these funds have actually been turned over to the Consulate General, and, if so, whether they have been distributed to the institutions in question.
Very truly yours,