The Secretary of State to the Chargé in France (Marriner)
Sir: I invite your attention to despatches No. 852 of March 1811 and No. 887 of May 25, 1935, regarding customs privileges of American educational and philanthropic institutions in Syria and the Lebanon, copies of which were transmitted direct to the Embassy by the American Consul at Beirut.
With the first of these despatches the Consul enclosed a copy of his note of January 25, 1935, addressed to the French High Commissioner [Page 467]at Beirut. Since this note appeared accurately to set forth the viewpoint of this Government, the Department expressed its approval thereof in an instruction to the Consul under date of May 29, 1935,12 a copy of which is enclosed. The High Commissioner’s reply of May 8, 1935, a copy of which was enclosed with despatch No. 887, fails however, to furnish an adequate answer to several of the points raised in the Consul’s original communication.
You are requested, therefore, to bring a copy of Mr. Steger’s note to the attention of the Foreign Office and explain that this Government considers that the High Commissioner’s note of May 8, 1933 , is an inadequate reply, and that it cannot admit that rights of American nationals in Syria, recognized by official declarations of the French Government under dates of November 2, 1923 and March 10, 1931, may be withdrawn or impaired without the consent of this Government. You may point out at the same time that this Government has no desire to embarrass the French mandatory authorities in Syria and the Lebanon in their fiscal policies and that it will be glad to consider sympathetically any reasonable proposals which the French Government may wish to make with a view to the final settlement of this question which has been a subject of correspondence between the two Governments for more than ten years.
Very truly yours,