The Secretary of State to Mr. George A. Ferris

Sir: The Department has received your letter of September 9, 1937, concerning an exchange of notes of May 29, 1937, between France and Turkey with regard to the nationality of certain persons who emigrated from Syria or the Lebanon.

In the absence of a copy of the agreement in question the American Consul General at Beirut, Syria, is being requested to endeavor to furnish the Department with a copy of the text and also to report any further information available on the subject. Upon receipt of the report from the Consul General the Department will communicate with you again.

In this connection your attention is called to the notes9 exchanged between this Government and the French High Commissioner for Syria and the Lebanon, dated November 15 and December 2, 1921, and subsequent notes, in which the right of the American Government to protect naturalized American citizens of Syrian origin while residing temporarily in the mandated territory, who under American law are entitled to such protection, is recognized.

With regard to the effect of the exchange of notes of May 29, 1937, on the question of inheritance you are informed that inheritance and property rights in Syria and the Lebanon are governed by local law. It is the Department’s understanding that the laws now in force in that territory permit foreigners to inherit real and personal property there provided that the law of the country of which the foreigner is a national accords the same rights to the nationals of Syria and the Lebanon.

Very truly yours,

For the Secretary of State:
Wallace Murray
  1. See Hackworth, Digest, vol. iii, pp. 194–196.