890D.01/540: Telegram

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

404. In connection with the proclamation of Syrian independence I am quoting below from a letter General de Gaulle addressed to General Catroux under date of June 24, 1941, i. e., 3 weeks before the Allies entered Beirut. Text is contained in my despatch number 13149 which may not reach the Department for some time.

“The mandate for which France was made responsible by the League of Nations in 1924 must come to an end. For this reason you will take as a starting point for the negotiations with the States of the Levant the Treaty of Alliance concluded with them in 1936.50 I take it upon myself to transmit to the League of Nations at the proper time the substitution in the Levant of the regime of the mandate by a new regime which will be in accord with the purposes for which the mandate was created.”

  1. Dated August 20, not printed.
  2. Franco-Syrian Treaty of Friendship and Alliance, signed at Damascus, December 22, 1936, and the Franco-Lebanese Treaty of Friendship and Alliance, signed at Beirut, November 13, 1936. These treaties were never ratified by France. For texts, see France, Ministère des Affaires Étrangères, Rapport à la Société des Nations sur la situation de la Syrie et du Liban (année 1936), pp. 201 and 229.