783.02/12–1751: Telegram

The Ambassador in France ( Bruce ) to the Department of State 1

top secret

3619. Deptel 238, December 14 to Damascus2 rptd Paris 3505 and other addressees. Emb today discussed ref tel with FonOff which makes fol comment:

1. FonOff has strong misgivings re creation comite of four chiefs mission in Damascus. It considers important that mins meet and discuss probs but that it wld be extremely unfortunate for Syrians to know that formal comite of four chiefs was mtg and making formal report. FonOff is of opinion that Syrians wld resent it and it wld be to detriment to interest of four powers.

2. FonOff agrees that speed is obviously of importance but considers that unobtrusiveness is even more important in connection with action taken.

3. FonOff is very favorable disposed to proposals in reftel but repeats its previous warning against advisability endeavoring obtain Syrian assurance re MEC too soon.

4. FonOff considers it regrettable that Turks are to be associated so closely in this program. It admits that association with Turks from time to time is desirable but points out that previous Turkish-Syrian tension shld never be forgotten and that it is unthinkable that Syrians wld be willing to receive Turkish assistance. FonOff recognizes that matter has gone too far to avoid Turkish association with action proposed but stresses undesirability creation of Four-Power Comite in Damascus.

  1. Repeated to Damascus, London, and Ankara.
  2. Ante, p. 1090.