501.BB/2–1446: Telegram

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

us urgent   niact

1568. UNdel 216. For Stettinius from the Secretary. Urtel 1839, February 14, DelUN 324. We have noted that French are making every effort to reach common accord short of agreeing that negotiations have as major objective the fixing of a time limit for withdrawal of their troops. Dept feels that if there seems to be impasse in efforts to obtain consent of all parties to negotiation and if the Syrians and Lebanese continue to insist that such an objective be agreed upon as a prerequisite to the commencement of negotiations, you should support them. Likewise Syrians desire that matter remain of continuing concern to Security Council even though negotiations are agreed upon should also be supported. (Urtel 1553, February 8, DelUN 245.)

Should it be impossible to obtain a satisfactory basis upon which negotiations may be carried out between the parties, Dept feels that matter should be classified as “dispute” as distinguished from a “situation” on basis of information thus far received.

Also, in the event that it is impossible to obtain a satisfactory basis for negotiations and the SC must make recommendations, it is suggested that you support the setting of a reasonable time limit for the evacuation of the foreign troops in Syrian and Lebanese territories.