890D.01/420a Supplemental

The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in the United Kingdom ( Winant )
No. 433

Sir: The Department has been informed that negotiations have been or are about to be initiated by the British authorities in Beirut, looking towards the establishment of independent governments in Syria and the Lebanon. In this connection, there is enclosed herewith a copy of an instruction which was sent to the American Ambassador at Paris on August 4, 1936,39 when treaty negotiations were in progress between the French Government and representatives of Syria and the Lebanon regarding the independence of those mandated territories. The American Government maintains the attitude set forth at that time concerning the necessity for the adequate safeguarding of existing American treaty rights in any arrangements which may be made for the independence of the areas concerned.

The Department has no reason to believe that the authorities now in control in Syria and Lebanon will fail to respect the full rights which the American Government enjoys with respect to Syria and Lebanon by virtue of the American-French Convention of April 4, 1924.40 Furthermore, the Department is confident that those authorities will bear in mind the fact that no modification in the terms of the Mandate, including termination thereof of course, will affect existing American treaty rights in the area unless such modification has been assented to by the United States.

You are requested to discuss the matter with the British Foreign Office and to inquire what arrangements the British Government contemplates with respect to consultation with the United States concerning the termination of the Mandate.

A copy of this instruction is being forwarded to the American Consul General at Beirut for his information.

Very truly yours,

For the Secretary of State:
Sumner Welles