890D.05/2–2846: Airgram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Chargé in the United Kingdom (Gallman)


A–533. In note dated Mar 1362 French Embassy suggested that American, Brit and French Govts consult re attitude which they should assume towards Syria, Lebanon concerning special juridical rights deriving from agreements with Ottoman Empire which these Govts have in Levant following termination of mandate. Note observed that Levant Govts cannot abrogate unilaterally conventions defining status of foreigners, but that changes which they may desire to make in present system might be subject of negotiations and an agreement with Three Powers principally interested. Note asked our views and expressed hope that three Govts can reach agreement and present common attitude to Syria Lebanon.

On Mar 19 French Embassy requested our views63 urgently in view of reports from Damascus that Syrian Parliament was about to modify Mixed Courts system. In reply64 we outlined our views substantially as stated in our aide-mémoire to Brit Embassy of Nov 10, 1945.65 We also informed French of Brit approach to us and that we awaited Brit reply referred to in Embassy’s 2409 Feb. 28.66 We added that we would be glad to join discussions with French and Brit. French Embassy later stated it would like to commence these tripartite conversations soon in Paris, London or Washington using our views as basis for discussion without committing selves to acceptance.

Sent London as A–533, repeated Beirut as A–30, to Paris as A–385.

  1. Not printed; in handing the note to the Director of the Office of Near Eastern and African Affairs (Henderson) on March 14, the French Minister (Lacoste) stated that a similar note had been presented to the British Government by the French Embassy in London (890D.01/8–1346).
  2. This was done by Mr. Lacoste in discussion with officers of the Division of Near Eastern Affairs (890D.05/3–2046).
  3. By memorandum of March 19, handed to Mr. Lacoste the same day.
  4. Foreign Relations, 1945, vol. viii, p. 1197.
  5. Not printed; the reference is to the anticipated British reply to the Department’s aide-mémoire of November 10, 1945.