136. Telegram From the Embassy in Lebanon to the Department of State1

390. I saw Chamoun 10:30 a.m. today and communicated contents Deptel 204.2 He authorized me to see General Chehab (noon appointment) to emphasize our expectation of fullest cooperation Lebanese armed forces.

President himself will arrange for closing Qei airport 1400 hours local.

Re Deptel 47903 I left him copy of contingency statement of themes set out paragraphs (A) through (F) of Deptel 47414 with deletion of reference in paragraph (C) to participation by United Kingdom. I offered personal suggestion it would be highly advisable for Chamoun himself to make a nationwide broadcast to his people which could be picked up in Arabic transmissions throughout Middle East. Anything an Arab leader could say would be more effective than anything foreigners could say. Chamoun agreed.

[Page 241]

He is meeting with Cabinet and will dictate a governmental statement. I warned him of need to take necessary steps to prevent information being transmitted outside of Lebanon prior to actual landing and indicated Pierre Edde at least would be in opposition to our landing. Chamoun said he would not discuss operation before 2 p.m.5

I likewise told President that of course we wished to provide him personally with maximum security but for political reasons I would very much hope presidential palace could be defended by Lebanese security forces. He agreed and said he would not call on our protection unless in case of last resort.

I pointed out that since British are not landing in initial phase of operation and may not land at all, it seemed to be unnecessary to request French participation. I repeated same observation to French Ambassador who called at 1100. Roche was most reasonable and said he entirely agreed that if this were solely an American operation, there was no need for French participation. I hope same line of reasoning will prevail in Paris.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 783A.00/7–1558. Top Secret; Niact. Repeated to London, Paris, and USUN. Received at 6:55 a.m.
  2. Supra.
  3. Document 82.
  4. Telegram 4741 to Beirut, June 12, provided the text of a political directive to U.S. and U.K. military commanders for use in the event of military operations in Lebanon. The text had been approved by the U.S.–U.K. Working Group and was submitted for Embassy comment before final consideration by the Department of State and the British Foreign Office. Included was a contingency statement of themes, approved by the Secretary of State, for use as a public position in the event of U.S.–U.K. intervention. (Department of State, Central Files, 783A.00/6–1258; included in the microfiche supplement)
  5. During the conversation with McClintock, Chamoun stressed that the initial landings should be made with an impressive show of force in order to impress the Arab world. McClintock endorsed the suggestion. (Telegram 393 from Beirut, July 15; Department of State, Central Files, 783A.00/7–1558; included in the microfiche supplement)