The Ambassador in the United Kingdom (Winant) to the Secretary of State
[Received January 8—1:16 a.m.]
175. Reference Embtel No. 13 dated Jan. 2. Questioned today regarding status of Levant State troop withdrawal negotiations between British and French, Henderson of Eastern Dept said that both parties were still maintaining their positions and that further complicating factor had arisen in form of disagreement regarding consideration to be given security situation following troop withdrawal. British took position that security consideration should be considered first and plans then made accordingly for withdrawal, whereas France took view that security discussions should follow those on withdrawal. British thought this was “putting the cart before the horse” and suspected that what French had in mind was to complicate negotiations in order to delay withdrawal until UNO takes over in anticipation that UNO will be favorably disposed to offering French maintenance [Page 754]of bases in Lebanon and that such a solution would be welcome to Lebanese. Henderson said he thought French were deluding themselves on both grounds but that they seemed to persist in that attitude. He added that present situation is that British proposals are still before French and next move is up to Paris.8
Sent Dept 175; repeated Beirut as 3; Paris as 16.
- In telegram 14, January 8, 9 a.m., the Chargé in Beirut advised that the Ango-French military conversations had broken down (890E.01/1–846). The deadlock, according to the British Foreign Office, was apparently caused by the French contention that only the British were required to withdraw from Lebanon. (Telegram 491, January 15, 6 a.m., from London, 890D.01/1–1546)↩