867N.01/2209: Telegram

The Chargé at Damascus (Farrell) to the Secretary of State

3. Reference Beirut No. 36, February 18, 4 p.m. Syrian Foreign Office today handed me a note dated February 23 enclosing copy of telegrams of protest despatched yesterday by Speaker Faris al-Khoury and Chairman of Foreign Affairs Committee Adnan al-Attassi of Syrian Parliament to their counterparts in Congress, against resolutions demanding creation of Jewish state in Palestine, as follows:

“Motions in Congress demanding continued immigration to create Jewish state in Palestine fatally compromise Arab rights and jeopardize public peace in Arab States in the Middle East where all available resources are being put willingly at the disposal of the Allies for assuring victory. The passing of such motions shakes all confidence in international justice and those good hopes guaranteed by the Atlantic Charter. Rendering service to Jews at the expense of Arabs cannot be justified. We request that full study of the Arab rights in Palestine should be made before bringing the aforesaid motions up for debate.”

Foreign Office covering (full text by air mail34) states: Syrian Government fully shares views and cannot conceal surprise that Jewish national home question should be raised without regard to deep effects on Arab opinion at a time when Arab States are giving utmost assistance to Allied cause; warns of grave repercussions if policy of resolutions is adopted and enforced; opines that while Syrian Government will never tolerate settlement of Jews in Palestine at the expense of Arabs, present is inopportune time to raise question, and expects any decision to be deferred to the end of war; concludes that foregoing is clear and frank definition of Syrian Government policy and requests reply to dissipate Arab fears.

I have orally informed Foreign Minister of substance of Department’s No. 19, February 16, 6 p.m. to Baghdad and now request guidance in formulation of expected reply to Foreign Office specifically whether any further expression can be added to that stated therein.

Urgency of matter and probable receipt of Parliamentary protests have prompted me to despatch this message direct from Damascus but further report will reflect consultation with Beirut not immediately possible in person and indiscreet by telephone.

  1. Despatch 81, February 24, not printed.