The British Embassy to the Department of State


As the State Department will be aware negotiations between the French and the Levant States for settlement of future relations between them have not progressed at all. The Levant States have persisted in their refusal to enter into discussions with the French though His Majesty’s Government believe that they do not know at all what the French propose in detail. The Levant States assert that the French plan to undermine their independence in some way but M. Bidault17 has given Mr. Eden18 most categorical assurances on this head.

In the view of His Majesty’s Government it is essential to secure an agreement between the French and the Levant States on the nature of their relations in future, and His Majesty’s Minister to the Levant States has been instructed to approach the Syrian and Lebanese Governments in the sense of the attached telegrams.19
In informing the State Department of the instructions sent to Mr. Shone His Majesty’s Embassy is instructed to enquire whether the State Department would be willing to support these representations through the United States Minister in Damascus. As they have already made clear, His Majesty’s Government are not seeking to impose any particular procedure or conditions on the Levant States. But it seems to them inevitable and proper that termination of a special relation between two states should be regularised by some kind of agreement, that this is in the general interest and that the present misunderstanding between the French and the Levant States should not be allowed to get out of hand to a degree at which they might well hamper the war effort.
  1. Georges Bidault, French Minister for Foreign Affairs.
  2. Anthony Eden, British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs.
  3. Dated January 26, neither printed; for substance, see memorandum of conversation, February 1, supra.