890E.00/176: Telegram

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

2041. My 2040, November 11, 8 p.m. The King24 sent for me this afternoon and protested emphatically against the French action in the Lebanon. He said that as ruler of Egypt which had in the past [Page 1021] striven for liberty and was seeking to strengthen its independence, he was profoundly shocked by the treatment of the Lebanese and was convinced that the repercussions throughout the Arab world would be extensive. If such methods and action were allowed, the prestige of the United Nations would be seriously impaired and faith in their declarations lost. He asked me to convey the foregoing to my Government.

The King added that he would have preferred to have allowed his personal delegation to the Lebanon to proceed as scheduled but as he feared that its arrival might aggravate the situation, he proposed to withhold it for the present in order to avoid additional complications which would harm the Allies and serve German interests.

I fully concur in the opinion that these events are thoroughly deplorable from the point of view of Allied prestige in the Middle East. The present crisis, however, cannot be judged solely on the basis of the defective French policy and methods in Syria and the Lebanon, for the problem of Anglo-French relations is also largely involved and in that it is necessary to consider the continued tortuousness of those relations in that area. An action on the part of our Government in the present crisis therefore must needs be predicated on the situation with which we are actually confronted without regard to the wisdom or folly of the parties to the development of that situation and based on the declared principle for which we stand.

Not repeated anywhere.

  1. King Farouk I.