Memorandum of Conversation, by the Assistant Chief of the Division of Near Eastern Affairs (Alling)

Mr. Barclay handed me the attached aide-mémoire71 which he said furnished further information concerning the proclamation of Syrian Independence. He added that through some oversight the telegram on which this aide-mémoire was based had only just been received from the Foreign Office, although it had been drafted some two weeks ago. He went on to say that he was instructed to ask whether, in view of [Page 813] the information contained in this document, it would not now be possible for the United States to extend full recognition to the Republic of Syria.

After reading the aide-mémoire I told Mr. Barclay that it appeared to contain no information which we had not received from other sources and that practically all of this information had been available at the time the decision had been reached that it was impossible for us to extend recognition to Syria. I added, furthermore, that since the time when the telegram had been drafted in the Foreign Office, upon which this aide-mémoire was based, we had issued our statement expressing our position in favor of Syrian independence, and that consequently the considerations which the Foreign Office put forward seemed to me no longer to hold good. I added that what information we had indicated that the Syrians and Lebanese were completely satisfied with the official statement which had been issued by the Department and that I could not see that any further action was required at this time. I mentioned in this connection that the President of the Lebanese Republic had recently made a most friendly statement to our Consul General at Beirut and that this had been given to the press. Mr. Barclay said that he was under instructions, nevertheless, to request us to reconsider the whole matter. I told him I thought it was very unlikely that any new decision would be reached since our position had already been decided upon and it seemed that there was no good reason to alter it.

Mr. Barclay then inquired whether Mr. Bullitt72 would consider this question during his present trip to the Near East. I told him that Mr. Bullitt might possibly visit Syria, that he was of course free to discuss any matters that came up, and I assumed that if he had any views on the question he would pass them along in due course.

  1. Supra.
  2. William C. Bullitt, former Ambassador to France.