890E.01/194: Telegram

The First Secretary of the British Embassy ( Wright ) to the Chief of the Division of Near Eastern Affairs ( Alling )

Ref. 563/16/43

Dear Mr. Alling: We recently talked over the question of the recognition of the independence of the Levant States, and you asked me to give you something in writing.45

I need not rehearse the past history of this question, which is familiar to us both. The aspect of it which we particularly discussed was the question of early recognition by the United States Government. The view which I put to you, on the instructions of the Foreign Office, was that if the United States Government felt able to accord early recognition, this would be in accordance with our common policy of increasing the independent status of Syria and Lebanon so far as this can be done in war time and within a vital war area, would have a most favourable effect not only in Syria and the Lebanon, but in the surrounding Arab states, and would help to counter enemy propaganda which is trying to play off the Allies against each other in the Middle East and thus weaken security and tranquility there. Any anxiety on the score of treaty rights might be met either by a specific reservation or by obtaining a special assurance from the Syrian and Lebanese Governments.

You informed me that the United States Government are bearing in mind the possibility of recognition of Syria and the Lebanon, and that when the forthcoming elections in the two states have taken place, and constitutional governments have been formed, might consider that the time had come to accord it. I need not say how much I should appreciate any further information you could give me on a matter which is of such importance to the common policy we are pursuing in the Middle East.

Yours sincerely

Michael Wright
  1. See memorandum of conversation, May 14, p. 969.