The Secretary of State to the Consul General at Beirut (Marriner)

Sir: Reference is made to your despatch No. 43 of July 17, 1936, concerning the denial to American educational and philanthropic institutions in Syria and the Lebanon of customs privileges previously assured by agreement between the American and French Governments.

The Department notes the suggestion contained in your despatch under reference that a proposal be made to the French Government for an exchange of notes clarifying and specifying the privileges granted to American educational and philanthropic institutions in Syria and the Lebanon by the exchange of notes signed at Paris on November 2 and December 18, 1923, and by the note of March 10, 1931, of the French Ministry for Foreign Affairs, and requests you to submit as soon as practicable a draft of a proposed exchange of notes in accordance therewith.

In the preparation of this draft you are requested to discuss the matter further with the competent officials of the interested American institutions in Syria and the Lebanon in order to ascertain their views with regard to the provisions to be included in such an agreement. After these discussions have taken place you should consult with the French High Commissioner and endeavor to arrive at a mutually acceptable draft of the proposed arrangement concerning the matter. In this connection the Department would be prepared to give favorable consideration to an arrangement such as is suggested in the fifth paragraph of your despatch under reference.

Upon receipt of the draft of the proposed arrangement agreed upon by you and the French High Commissioner, a careful study will be made by the Department of the points involved therein with a view to instructing the Embassy at Paris to take appropriate steps to effect an exchange of notes with respect to the matter.

Very truly yours,

For the Secretary of State:
R. Walton Moore