890E.00/171: Telegram

The Minister in Egypt (Kirk) to the Secretary of State

2038. Afternoon press carries letter sent yesterday by Egyptian Prime Minister18 to delegate in Egypt of French Committee of National Liberation echoing strong reaction to [of] Egypt and Arab peoples as result of political developments in Lebanon. Nahas refers to previous discussions on subject with Catroux who had given impression of desiring reasonable and just solution but notes these good intentions not carried into effect, as evidenced by questionable tactics used in elections and unjustified French attitude in respect of revision of constitution of Lebanon of which independence was recognized by French and British and is of incontestable legality. Regarding citing of mandate as factor figuring in situation Nahas maintained mandate “disappeared in fact and in law on the day when the French and British Governments recognized the independence of Syria and the Lebanon. At that time they admitted that League of Nations was not functioning and that Syria and Lebanon could not await its problematical resurrection in order to ratify decision of French and British. If the mandate remained in force British and French had no right to declare independence and conversely by so doing they put end to mandate.[”]

[Page 1013]

Nahas said that by granting independence British and French were in accord with Atlantic Charter and principles of United Nations, that he did not doubt intention of British in that regard and did not desire to doubt those of French Committee. He added that he hoped situation was result of error which French would rectify in manner worthy of great French tradition.

Repeated to Beirut and Algiers.

  1. Mustapha Nahas Pasha.