Page images
PDF
EPUB

Navicert applications for Nestle's milk shipments were referred to the Ministry of Economic Warfare by the British Embassy in Washington some time ago. The Embassy is now telegraphing the Ministry urging a prompt decision.

As regards the general question of Syrian trade, the Department believes that prompt action should be taken to implement the assurances given in your telegram No. 1087. The French authorities in Syria declare that Syrian products are able to reach Germany through Turkey without any delay or obstruction and that wool, silk, and casings are already being shipped to Germany by that route. Germany is said to be demanding more and more Syrian products and is promising to ship pharmaceutical products, hospital equipment, and urgently needed chemicals in return. The Director of Foreign Commerce in Syria, M. Soule, states that all Frenchmen in authority there wish to avoid trading with the "enemy” but that unless stocks of wool and silk are immediately purchased by England or the United States they will surely go to Germany.

WELLES

890D.48/114 Memorandum of Conversation, by the Acting Secretary of State

[WASHINGTON,) March 24, 1941. The French Ambassador called to see me this afternoon. The Ambassador repeated the request he made of Secretary Hull some ten days ago that this Government urge the British Government to grant navicerts for the shipment or [of] urgently needed medical supplies to Syria.

I told the Ambassador that I would be glad to have this matter

taken up.

S[UMNER] W[ELLES]

740.00112 European War 1939/2403a : Telegram The Acting Secretary of State to the Consul General at Beirut

(Engert)

WASHINGTON, March 24, 1941–8 p. m. 43. Department's No. 37, March 19,8 p. m. In order that the Treasury Department may maintain supervision over funds to be derived from the future purchase of Syrian commodities in the United States, you are instructed to notify the Department by telegraph at the time each shipment leaves Syria, giving the name of the consignor in Syria and the consignee in the United States, the route to be taken by the shipment and if possible the name of the vessel.

The funds will be deposited in a special account, and American exports to Syria paid for from this account.

WELLES

740.00112 European War 1939/2405 : Telegram The Consul General at Beirut (Engert) to the Secretary of State

BEIRUT, March 26, 1941–9 a. m.

[Received March 26–8:30 a. m.] 87. Department's 37, March 19, and 41, March 22. The High Commissioner has requested me to express to the Secretary of State his sincere appreciation of the efforts made in Washington to bring about an arrangement which would enable Syria to resume a more normal economic life. He thought much sympathetic understanding had been shown by the American and British Governments of the problems which confronted Vichy and himself. Repeated to Vichy.

ENGERT

740.00112 European War 1939/2405 : Telegram The Secretary of State to the Consul General at Beirut (Engert)

WASHINGTON, April 5, 1941–8 p.m. 51. Reference Department's No. 43, March 24, 8 p. m., that the United States Treasury Department is presently prepared to effectuate the arrangements which have recently been made regarding Syrian trade as follows:

(1) To license under Executive Order No. 8389, as amended, the establishment of a "Special Account” on the books of an American Bank in the name of a Syrian bank to be designated by the French authorities. Credits to such account may be made pursuant to specific licenses.

(2) To issue licenses permitting the proceeds of the sale in the United States of Syrian exports of wool, silk, tobacco, casings, olive oil, and hides and skins, to be credited to such account.

(3) To issue such licenses as may be necessary under Executive Order No. 8389, as amended, to effectuate shipments (including the licensing of payments therefor out of such "Special Account) of newsprint, foodstuffs, and other permitted exports from the United States, its territories and possessions, or other countries in the Western Hemisphere, or the Netherlands East or West Indies, to Syria for consumption therein.

You should ascertain as soon as possible from the French authorities in Syria the Syrian Bank in whose name the “Special Account” referred to above is to be maintained, as well as the name of the American Bank on whose books such account is to be established, and advise this Department.

HULL

740.00112 European War 1939/2482: Telegram

The Consul General at Beirut (Engert) to the Secretary of State

BEIRUT, April 8, 1941–10 a. m.

[Received 1:52 p. m.] 101. Last paragraph of Department's 51, April 5, 8 p. m. I am orally informed that the Syrian bank is the Banque de Syrie et du Liban and the American bank, Chase National Bank, New York.

In this connection the French foreign trade control authorities have agreed to advise the Consulate General of the date on which each shipment leaves Syria. The British Consulate General is likewise supplying this office with copies of all certificates of origin issued here.

It would be appreciated if the Department could advise me as to the date on which the present agreement may be considered as having entered into effect for the purpose of calculating the value of 1 million dollars described in the Department's 37, March 14 [19], 8 p. m., as well as for the purposes of the notification of such shipments requested in the Department's 43, March 24,8 p.m.

ENGERT

740.00112 European War 1939/2482: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Consul General at Beirut (Engert)

WASHINGTON, April 18, 1941—noon. 55. Your 101, April 8, 10 a. m. The Treasury Department regards the arrangement indicated in the Department's telegram 51, April 5, 8 p. m. as being presently in effect and is taking action to license the establishment of the special account with the Chase National Bank in the name of the Banque de Syrie et du Liban, which account will be designated Special Account A.

HULL

740.00112 European War 1939/2593 : Telegram

The Consul General at Beirut (Engert) to the Secretary of State

BEIRUT, April 23, 1941—12 a. m. [Received 2:33 p. m.]

p 116. Departinent's 55, April 18, noon, has been communicated to the authorities. Responsible businessmen known to the British Consulate General interested in this arrangement now inquire whether the Treasury Department could temporarily free blocked funds which they already possess in the United States in order to finance purchase of authorized commodities for Syria. Otherwise they would have to wait until Syrian exports had actually reached the United States and had been sold before they could utilize the funds in the special account. French authorities fear that lapse of time between departure of goods from Syria and sale in the United States will be too great to serve Syrian interests and accordingly do not wish to give export permits unless they have assurance that the funds for the purchase of the corresponding American commodities are promptly available in the special account.

ENGERT

740.00112 European War 1939/2593 : Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Consul General at Beirut (Engert)

WASHINGTON, April 25, 1941–5 p. m. 61. Your 116, April 23, 12 a. m. Treasury is issuing license permitting establishment with Chase National Bank of special account to be known as "Banque de Syrie et du Liban, Special Account A.”

Treasury is also issuing licenses permitting transfer to the new “Special Account A” of balances amounting to approximately $190,000 held at Chase National Bank and French American Banking Corporation in special free accounts” of the Banque de Syrie et du Liban. It will, of course, be necessary for the Banque de Syrie et du Liban to instruct Chase National Bank and the French American Banking Corporation to make such transfers.

As indicated in our 51 of April 5, the funds in “Special Account A” may, under specific license, be used in payment for permitted exports to Syria and Lebanon. Applications for licenses to make such payments will be filed by Chase National Bank upon receipt of proper instructions from the Banque de Syrie et du Liban.

HULL

II. Efforts by the United States To Prevent French Authorities From Succumb

ing to German Pressures in Syria and Lebanon; Use of Syrian Airfields by German Planes

740.0011 European War 1939/7710 : Telegram

The Consul General at Beirut (Engert) to the Secretary of State

BEIRUT, January 18, 1941— 9 a. m.

[Received January 18—9 a. m.] 14. I had my first long talk with the new High Commissioner, General Dentz, last night. He stated among other things that the mission which had been entrusted to him was primarily to keep Syria out of the war but to defend it against anybody who attacked it. He then attempted to justify France's surrender last June 44 by now familiar complaint that Great Britian had not furnished enough support and he accused the British of pursuing a selfish and shortsighted policy which might yet throw Vichy into the arms of the Germans.

I purposely ignored these and several other more outspoken and even less reasonable criticisms of England because I thought it best, at least to begin with, not to give him the impression that I was here to defend the British and Free French cause. However, when the High Commissioner asked me whether the astronomical figures recently mentioned in connection with the American rearmament program did not smack of militarism he gave me an opportunity to present the American point of view. I told him that our rearmament and conscription were not a sign of militarism but proof that we loathe militarism. We had hoped that militarism had been completely discredited by the last war but now that we found the world again tortured by militarist ambitions the American Government and people were determined to prove that democratic methods could be even more vigorous and effective than those of militarized dictatorships. I said we were arming on an unprecedented scale and with unprecedented speed because of our growing awareness of a threat to the peace and security of the Western Hemisphere and more especially because we felt that any compromise between the democracies and nations whose word could not be trusted would be but a precarious truce. The General made no comment except to say that France had long maintained that force was still the determining factor in international relations but nobody had believed her. He was glad to hear that the United States had become more realistic in that respect. Repeated to Vichy.

ENGERT

740.0011 European War 1939/8488 : Telegram

The Consul General at Beirut (Engert) to the Secretary of State

BEIRUT, February 19, 1941–1 p. m.

[Received 2:53 p. m.] 42. A person close to the High Commissioner has just told me that the news of the Turco-Bulgarian accord 45 has had a most depressing

* For correspondence on this subject, see Foreign Relations, 1940, vol. I, pp. 217 ff.

4 Turkish-Bulgarian declaration, signed at Ankara, February 17, 1941, reaffirming policies of non-aggression; for text, see Martens, Nouveau recueil général de traités, 3e sér., tome 39 (Leipzig, 1941), p. 357.

« PreviousContinue »