The Secretary of State to the Consul General at Beirut ( Marriner )
Sir: Reference is made to the Department’s instruction of September 27, 1937,13 regarding the recent Franco-Turkish Agreement said to have been signed on May 29, 1937, concerning the nationality of Syrian and Lebanese emigrants, and there is enclosed a copy of a memorandum of an informal conversation between an officer of the [Page 934] Division of Near Eastern Affairs and the French Vice Consul at New York.15 The information contained in this memorandum appears to confirm certain of the statements made in the letter transmitted to the Consulate General under cover of the above-mentioned instruction. It seems to be clear that it is the intention of the authorities in Syria and the Lebanon not to recognize the American nationality of persons of Syrian or Lebanese extraction unless those persons can prove that they have obtained authorization either from the Ottoman authorities or subsequently from the French authorities to renounce their original Ottoman nationality. If such is the intention of the authorities in Syria and the Lebanon it would appear to be contrary to the assurances furnished the Consulate General at Beirut by the French High Commission under date of November 15, 1921.
It is requested that you discuss this matter with the French High Commission with a view to clarifying the intention of the French authorities in this matter.
Very truly yours,