The American Embassy in France to the French Ministry for Foreign Affairs13

No. 1414

The Embassy of the United States of America has the honor to refer to the note sent by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of France (Direction Politique) on March 10, 1931, with respect to the customs privileges of American educational and philanthropic institutions in Syria and the Lebanon. Apparently the provisions of the Arrêté No. 292/LR of December 20, 1934, constitute a limitation to the privileges assured to American educational and philanthropic institutions in the Levant States under French Mandate, and the Embassy has the honor to transmit herewith a copy of a note in the matter which was forwarded on January 25, 1935, by the American Consul at Beirut to His Excellency the French High Commissioner; this note sets forth accurately the viewpoint of the American Government in the matter.

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The Embassy also has the honor to transmit herewith the copy of a communication dated May 8, 1935, from His Excellency M. D. de Martel to the American Consul at Beirut, which, in the opinion of the American Government, is an inadequate reply to the Consul’s aforementioned note.

The American Government 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by official declarations of the French Government under dates of November 2, 1923, and March 10, 1931, may be withdrawn or impaired without the consent of the Government, this having apparently occurred in the present case.

The Embassy desires to point out at this time that the American 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.

  1. Copy transmitted to the Department by the Ambassador in his despatch No. 2261, October 26, 1935; received November 6.