The British Embassy to the Department of State


His Majesty’s Embassy understand that the Free French Headquarters in London are keeping Mr. Biddle informed about affairs in Syria, and also about the Lebanese declaration of Independence which is expected to be made in the very near future. General Catroux has also informed the United States Consul General at Beirut of the proposed Lebanese declaration.

From these declarations the United States Government will see that the creation and recognition of an independent Syrian Government involves a change in but not a termination of the Mandate in toto, nor does it involve a termination of French responsibilities. It puts Syria in a position analogous to that of Iraq before the last Anglo-Iraqi Treaty of Alliance63 and before Iraq became a member of the League. Iraq was at that time recognized as an independent Government but His Majesty’s Government nevertheless retained mandatory responsibilities which were not terminated until Iraq’s admission to the League.
Under the declarations of Independence new Constitutions for Syria and Lebanon are contemplated, as well as new treaties of Alliance between France and these countries. Meanwhile, they contain a clause which lays down that “in acceding to an independent international life Syria succeeds naturally to the rights and obligations hitherto [? assumed]64 in her name”. These clauses amount to a formal recognition by the Free French, Syrian and Lebanese Governments of the rights of the United States Government under the Treaty of 1924.
His Majesty’s Embassy are informed that Egypt has already recognised Syrian independence. Saudi Arabia has expressed the intention of establishing relations and the Iraqi Minister for Foreign Affairs has told His Majesty’s Ambassador at Bagdad that the Iraqi Government recognise the independence of Syria though not the form of Government established by the Free French High Commissioner.
In the light of the above information His Majesty’s Government in the United Kingdom trust that the United States Government will on reflection be prepared to take a favourable decision about the recognition of Syrian independence. Such a decision would be in accordance with the spirit of principles one and two of the Atlantic Charter,65 and would be a powerful aid to the stability of the Syrian Government and of conditions generally in the Near Eastern theatre of war.
  1. Signed at Baghdad, June 30, 1930, League of Nations Treaty Series, vol. cxxxii, p. 363.
  2. Brackets appear in the original.
  3. Vol. i, p. 367.