690D.116/1: Telegram

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

4. Following up several complaints made by local merchants I am informed orally by official of High Commission that acting on instructions just received from Paris local authorities are categorically [Page 928]refusing and will refuse for an indefinite period to sell dollar exchange in payment for merchandise ordered since December 3, 1939, except in those instances where import licenses have been obtained, and that these licenses will be given only in exceptional cases. Suggest that American exporters be immediately advised to refuse orders unless satisfied that Syrian client is in possession of import license.