890E.00/144: Telegram

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

217. Reference my 214, June 24, 5 p.m. On June 24 Helleu had the Mufti and other Moslem leaders to lunch with his own chief political advisers. Arab sources reported that after the guests had maintained their protest Helleu undertook that no decisive action inimical to Moslem interests would be taken without further consultation with them.

Nevertheless, a Lebanese decree was issued the following evening fixing the date of elections for September 26 and 27. This is the latest date possible under Catroux’s decree No. 147 of March 25 (see annex No. 8 to despatch No. 76 of April 2).44

Dr. Tabet, I gather, had meanwhile given the Mufti adequate assurances that Moslem interests would be safeguarded; and this appears to have been done in a Lebanese Government communiqué published yesterday.

[Page 979]

After announcing that “the Government has decided to hold a general census before election”, this communiqué states that specialists are studying modalities, that within a fortnight the census date will be announced and that a commission of high state officials will control its operation.

  1. Not printed.