773.02/11–2451: Telegram

The Consul General at Tripoli (Lynch) to the Department of State 1


223. ReDeptel 156, Nov. 20.2 Held conference this morning with Brit Resident, French ConGen, Ital rep, re independence and recognition. Target date for indepen is Dec 15, but there is still some apprehension here regarding possibility discussion Libyan question by ad hoc polit comite before that time and consequent reluctance to fix definite date as yet. Brit finan and mil agreements in fairly good shape, but not yet finalized with Libyans. Discussions over French finan and mil agreements now under way. In my view delay in opening these discussions by French a serious mistake. Ital states property agreement not yet concluded as property losses not yet agreed upon. Ital rep says his govt cannot recognize independent Libya until this agreement concluded. With great efforts on all sides, I believe it possible, although not certain, that all of these agreements can be successfully concluded [Page 1364] by Dec 15. Picture now complicated by hesitations of King-designate and illness PriMin.

It is envisaged that indepen will come about upon proclamations by administering powers UK and France handing over final powers to Libya whereupon King will declare independence. At this point FonMin will send msgs to members UN and certain other countries, such as Italy and Spain. At this moment and on date independence, we agreed that it wld be appropriate to deliver msgs recognized heads of state to King and from FonMins to Libyan FonMin. I recommend therefore that msg from President to King be given more for appropriate use and that msg from SecState to FonMin be given me. These msgs wld be congratulatory in nature. At same time I wld address note to FonMin advising him that I had been designated Charge d’Affaires at interim in addition to my duties as ConGen and instructed to enter into relations with his govt. Presumably, any one of these three acts wld constitute de jure recognition of new state. I shld appreciate Dept’s early comments and instrs with regard to above.3

  1. Repeated to London, Paris, Rome, and Benghazi.
  2. The Department of State agreed the November 15 date of Libyan independence should be changed to about December 1 if the General Assembly Ad Hoc Political Committee was likely to discuss Libya in early December. Since the Department considered it unlikely that Libya would be debated before January, however, it preferred December 15. (773.02/11–1551)
  3. Telegram 167, from Washington, November 28, replied that the information in the source text had been very helpful in planning Libyan independence. Washington advised Lynch that if he considered it appropriate he might mention to the Libyan Foreign Minister that the President had appointed Henry S. Villard as the first U.S. Minister to Libya, and, if feasible, it would appreciate advance assurance that the Libyan Government would agree to Villard’s appointment immediately after independence so that a public announcement could be made at that time. (773.02/11–2451)