890E.00/138: Telegram

The Diplomatic Agent and Consul General at Beirut ( Wadsivorth ) to the Secretary of State

207. Department’s 161, June 7, 8 p.m. I have had occasion to talk informally with Helleu of the Department’s interest in free elections and relaxed press censorship and of its hope that after elections a program will be adopted for progressive transfer to the Lebanese and Syrian Governments of powers the retention of which in Allied hands is not deemed “necessitated by conditions of war”.

He assured me that plans for holding elections are now proceeding smoothly and that he intends when final decrees calling them are issued, to assemble his provincial delegates and political officers and impress on them that every opportunity should be afforded the electorate freely to express itself. This he added would include reasonably free press discussion.

I arranged to call on him next week when I shall complete compliance with the instructions under reference.

[Here follows lengthy report of continued conversation, largely conjectural in nature.]