783.00/1–750: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Legation in Syria 2


8. Brit Emb Wash states FonOff has instructed UK Min3 Damascus express to Syrian PriMin 4 Brit concern over recent army coup and apprehension lest instability and army interference in civilian govt may continue.5 He is to assure Syrian Govt UK policy is one of complete nonintervention and to state UK asking other govts in area fol similar policy in belief Syria must be left alone work out own salvation and restore internal stability. Dept understands Brit Min has taken exception certain aspects his instrs but will probably make approach along these or similar lines.

Dept likewise concerned over Syrian instability and army interference especially since three successful military coups within nine months have established dangerous precedent which may tempt irresponsible elements in other Near Eastern countries plot violent overthrow ruling govts. Dept wld appreciate ur comments as to whether US expression concern to Syrian Govt over instability in Syria as reflected in three successive military coups wld serve useful purpose of strengthening position civilian authorities. Pls also state whether in ur judgment such a US approach might lend itself to misinterpretation by special groups as indicating unwarranted US interference in Syrian internal affairs and possibly as reflecting US disapproval anti-union orientation recent coup leaders.

  1. Repeated to London, Cairo, Baghdad, Jidda, Beirut, and Amman.
  2. P. M. Broadmead.
  3. Khaled Azm.
  4. Syria experienced three coups d’ etat in 1949, the last of which occurred on December 19, 1949.