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

No. 17

Sir: I have the honor to report that I discussed with Mr. Seyrig, Inspector General of Archaeology, the subject matter enclosed with the Department’s instruction of April 27, 1936 (File No. 890D.927/24),31 enclosing a copy of an instruction to the American Ambassador in Paris,32 with respect to possible restrictions upon archaeological activities in Syria. Mr. Seyrig told me that he was very glad to know that the American Government had manifested its interest in this subject, as he had been informed that the Belgians and British had done likewise. He said that up to the present the Syrian authorities had shown themselves slightly more liberal in archaeological matters than the interested services in the Lebanon, and therefore he hoped that when this portion of the treaty should come under discussion the same liberalism might be continued. He said that this policy was illustrated by the fact that the regulations now in existence in Syria permitted the museum at Damascus to maintain a sales room for the disposition of duplicates, whereas in the Lebanon there was no such possibility and the Beirut museum, which is not even yet ready, will be choked by accumulations of duplicates. Should these items become available for sale they would serve the needs of many museums and universities and bring in a large revenue to the Governments here which might be utilized for further archaeological investigation.

Respectfully yours,

Theodore Marriner
  1. Not printed.
  2. Supra.