The Ambassador in France (Caffery) to the Secretary of State
[Received 12:14 p.m.]
1134. Mytel 1043, March 4. British Embassy, Paris, reports agreement reached with French re withdrawal from Lebanon. British and French wall immediately evacuate 1,000 troops each46 and final British evacuation to be completed by June 30. French evacuation and redeployment to be in three stages: first, involving partial evacuation of Beirut, regrouping of troops in Tripoli area and discharge of certain auxiliary forces, to be completed June 30; second stage, completion of evacuation of Beirut and withdrawal of further troops from Lebanon, to be completed by end August; third stage, final evacuation of French troops from Tripoli, to be completed by April 1, 1947.
Before issuing communiqué on agreement, French and British decided Lebanese should first be informed by means of joint note. French draft of this note is now under consideration in London. British Embassy here feels FonOff may object to paragraph in proposed note explaining reasons for delay in final French evacuation [Page 779]since this might be taken as indicating British approval and support of French thesis (which is that extensive French installations and military stocks cannot be evacuated in less than year).
According to British, French are extremely unhappy re whole agreement and somewhat resentful over British refusal to maintain at least token force in Lebanon until French evacuation completed.
Sent to Washington as 1134; repeated to London as 190; repeated to Beirut as 6.
- In telegram 2726, March 7, 7 p.m., the Chargé in London had reported information from the Foreign Office that the purpose of the withdrawal of the 1,000 British and French troops was to avoid increasing the number of French troops in Lebanon following their withdrawal from Syria (890D.01/3–746).↩