501.BB/2–846: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the United States Representative at the United Nations (Stettinius)

secret
us urgent

1385. UNdel 191. Reurtel 1553, Feb 8, DelUN 245. The general policy of this Govt is to support the rapid withdrawal of foreign [Page 766]troops from the territory of any member of the United Nations occupied during the war if the local govt presses for their departure. It was in accordance with this policy that we addressed a note to the Soviet and British Govts in Nov 194536 suggesting the immediate withdrawal of all foreign troops from Iran, in view of the expressed desires of the Iranian Govt. Syria and Lebanon merit no less support than Iran in this respect. Moreover we would not wish to take a strong stand where Soviet forces are primarily involved and to remain silent in a case where Soviet forces are not concerned. You should therefore make clear at an appropriate occasion during the public discussion the sympathy of the American Govt for the Syrian and Lebanese request.

With regard to your suggestion that it would be desirable to avoid a full-dress debate of this dispute during the current session of SC, we do not wish to take any action which would deprive Syrian and Lebanese Govts of a full opportunity to present their case or would prevent any other govt from expressing its views with regard to the matter. We perceive no objection to an arrangement along the lines suggested in the penultimate paragraph of your telegram under reference provided it can be effected without pressure being brought on any of the interested parties.

Byrnes
  1. See Department’s telegrams 2386 to Moscow and 10209 to London, both dated November 23, Foreign Relations, 1945, vol. viii, pp. 448 and 450, respectively.