890E.01/98: Telegram

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

435. I have been shown in confidence an advance copy of the proclamation which General Catroux proposes to address to the Lebanese people in about a week. It resembles very closely his proclamation to the Syrians, reported in my 381, September 28, but stresses France’s “tutelary duties” and states that in recognizing the independence of Lebanon France does not renounce either her “tutelary friendship” or the privileged position which she acquired here in the course of centuries. He adds that French assistance will be granted in the spirit of the Treaty of Alliance and Friendship of 1936 “which has received the unanimous approval of Lebanese opinion”.

Due no doubt to our representations of October 8 the clause quoted in numbered paragraph 3 of my 381 has been amplified to read “rights and obligations deriving from international conventions and instruments [Page 798] concluded by France regarding it, i. e., Lebanon, or in its name”.

Catroux also emphasizes necessity that all regions and all creeds be assured equitable representation in the Lebanese Government both in high offices and in the administrative services in general. Equality of civil and political rights of all its nationals “without distinctions whatever” must be guaranteed.

The presidency has been offered to Alfred Naccache who is now head of the state and he has accepted.