890E.01/103: Telegram

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

467. My 463, November 25, 11 a.m. General Catroux read this morning his proclamation to Lebanese people. President Naccache replied that until circumstances permitted signing a treaty which would transfer to the Lebanon all attributes and prerogatives of sovereignties we were today witnessing the first tangible signs of this sovereignty. To safeguard independence France guaranteed political unity and territorial integrity of the Lebanon while the Lebanese themselves would now have to drop all partisan strife and induce all regional and religious communities to share the responsibility for affairs of state even though the war does not permit the normal functioning of representative institutions.

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“Individual liberty and freedom of conscience will be guaranteed and protected. We renew this solemn assurance.

Upon these bases, with the assistance of France and the support of Allied or friendly powers and especially the aid of Great Britain and her liberal comprehension of our political needs, I have the confident hope that the Lebanon will achieve complete and effective independence.

In the dramatic hours through which humanity is living her fate is linked with the liberation of France and final victory. The day will come when in a world rescued from the violence of war the Lebanon will with the help of her great and generous ally accomplish her destiny and mission in the Eastern Mediterranean.”