890D.01/2–2145: Telegram

The Ambassador in France (Caffery) to the Secretary of State

805. Bidault says in connection with the Department’s 633, February 16, 10 p.m., that the situation from their point of view has much improved recently. The new British representative in the Levant53 is much more “understanding”; Bidault’s recent conversations with the Syrian and Lebanese representatives here and the conversations of the French representatives in the Levant recently have been encouraging. He says it is his intention to reach a solution which will ensure the protection of French interests but will confirm the full independence of Syria and Lebanon. He said that the “fly in the ointment” in regard to the “Troupes Spéciales” is the presence of 40,000 British troops in Syria “ready to take over where we leave off”.

Sent Department; repeated to Beirut as 3.

  1. Mr. Shone was appointed British Minister to Syria and Lebanon on December 22, 1944.