690D.006/2: Telegram

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

15. Foreign Commerce Control Office of French High Commission has announced that from now on import permits from countries other than British Empire (except Canada, Newfoundland, and Hong Kong), Egypt, Sudan and Iraq will not be accepted unless requested in French francs and marked “payable by crediting to foreign account in francs.” Local importers are therefore officially advised to come to an agreement with their suppliers in this matter.

American exporters should be urgently warned to make no shipments whatever to Syria unless they receive cash in advance or are willing to accept blocked francs. This applies immediately to all orders irrespective of date. The same announcement states that the provisions mentioned above will apply likewise to requests for authorization of importation of merchandise ordered before December 3, [Page 933]1939, effective date of Syrian trade and exchange control. This is absolutely contrary to the assurances given to this office by the High Commission as previously reported.