501.BB/5–2549: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Secretary of State, at Paris

secret

Telac 55. Legal Adviser’s office of Dept has studied questions raised in paras 4, 5, and 6 of London’s Tel 2034 May 25 regarding steps which UK might take to meet Cyrenaican aspirations. Legal Adviser’s office takes no objection to legal view of FonOff.

Revised Brit statement recognizing Emir as head of Cyrenaican Govt and desire of Cyrenaicans for self-Govt (Telac 36 to Paris, May 311) does not appear to Legal Adviser’s office to violate UK obligations under Ital Peace Treaty. Our view is that primary duty of occupying power is to assure public order and safety and that any organization of internal administration or local Govt conductive to this [Page 563]primary end is legal. Furthermore, such internal changes in local administration Cyrenaica do not appear to prejudice final disposal that territory which, of course, depends on recommendations by UNGA.

Webb
  1. Not printed.