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867N.01/2217 : Telegram The Diplomatic Agent and Consul General at Beirut (Wadsworth)

to the Secretary of State

BEIRUT, February 28, 1944-noon.

[Received 4:15 p. m.] 43. See my 36, February 18, 4 p. m. Foreign Minister 49 has handed me note dated February 26 expressing attitude of Lebanese Government toward pro-Zionist resolutions currently before American Congress. Its principal points are:

Palestine is an Arab country whose fate vitally concerns Lebanon; adoption of proposed measures would have serious consequences, including racial repercussions throughout Arab world; such measures would be directly opposed to democratic ideals because disinheriting a whole people and reducing it to state of servitude; and measures would too be opposed to principles of justice and would undermine Atlantic Charter.

Minister handed me also copy of telegram to be sent to Congress by officers of Lebanese Parliament, stressing first and last of above arguments and urging withholding approval of resolutions before American public opinion is apprised of rights of Arabs.

Minister then elaborated on his note substantially as follows:

We Lebanese too have interest in common Holy Land and are not fanatical. Our Jews are well treated and contented non-Zionists. Our Christians, looking to Atlantic Charter, do not fear domination of Moslem Arabs.

However, we all fear Zionism as a problem of colonization because of its supporters' money, organization, influence and numbers. To us it is matter of self-defense. We beg America, while aiding persecuted Jews, to refrain from support of political Zionism.

Finally, in course of informal discussion during which I quoted substance of Department’s 318 February 16, 9 p. m. to Cairo,5° Minister voiced strictly personal view that political settlement of Palestine problem could be based on following elements of solution:

Promise of half our declaration has been fulfilled, a full-fledged Jewish National Home having been established in Palestine; all reasonable future development of that home can be assured by delimitation on [sic] under great powers' guarantee of Jewish canton or cantons on coastal plain and inland from Haifa where cultural Zionism rooted in Jewish institutions and fostered by Jewish administration could flourish; and spiritual interests of Christians and Moslems, as well as of Jews, would be effectively served by establishment of "a small zone of the holy places centered on Jerusalem” under international administration. Repeated to Baghdad, Jerusalem, Jidda and Cairo.

49 Selim Tacla. 50 See footnote 21, p. 566.

WADSWORTH

867N.01/2223: Telegram

The Minister in Iraq (Henderson) to the Secretary of State

BAGHDAD, February 29, 1944–10 p. m.

[Received March 1–9:45 a. m.] 40. Legation received today your 19 February 16. Its delay in transmission has caused no inconvenience since naturally I have lost no occasion to explain to interested Iraqi officials the respective functions and limitations of the legislative and the executive branches of the Government in the field of foreign affairs. My despatch 176 February 18 51 will make it evident that Nuri was quite well aware during our initial conversation that congressional resolutions of this character could have advisory force only.

During a conversation which I had with the Prime Minister today I told him in confidence I had just received a telegram from the Department (your 23 February 26) which indicated that I was probably correct in expressing to him on February 13 the opinion that the resolution in question would not be reported out of the Senate Committee and that probably the resolution before the House would meet a similar fate. I also endeavored to impress upon him again the fact that the responsibility for making decisions of the kind called for by the resolution created [rested?] upon the executive rather than upon the legislative branch of the Government.

Nuri expressed both appreciation and relief. He pointed out again that even though these resolutions if passed would not have had executive force it would have been difficult nevertheless to convince the Arab world that members of the legislative body of a great democracy such as the U.S. would have voted for them if they had not felt that they were voicing the sentiments of the American people.

Nuri stated that BBC 62 broadcasts had yesterday reported that the Egyptian Government had protested to the American Government with regard to these resolutions and that in view of these broadcasts it had become impossible to keep the matter entirely out of the Iraqi press. He would, however, immediately take steps with the purpose of minimizing the importance of the introduction of the resolution. He was sorry to hear that the Egyptian Government had approached

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the American Government formally on the subject; he had suggested to the other Arab Governments that they refrain from taking formal action and that communications be limited to telegrams from prominent Arabs to members of the American Congress. He had taken care that the Iraqi Legation in Washington be not instructed to broach the matter to the State Department.

I told Nuri that I was glad to hear that he was taking steps to minimize the importance of the resolutions, that since it was likely that they would not be reported out of committees in both houses of Congress it did not seem that anything would be gained from keeping the matter alive by sending further messages to members of Congress.

The Iraqi press this morning carried without comment a news despatch from Cairo stating that the Egyptian Government had taken up the subject of the resolutions formally with the American Legation at Cairo.

HENDERSON

867N.01/2225 : Telegram The Minister Resident in Saudi Arabia (Moose) to the Secretary

of State

JIDDA, March 2, 1941–6 p. m.

[Received March 3—10:53 a. m.] 59. Yesterday I conveyed to Finance Minister sense of first part Department's 408 February 26, 9 p.m., to Cairo.53 He received information with apparent satisfaction and said he would inform King.

Though Department's message to large extent answers objections repeated my 57 February 27, 11 a. m., it is suggested that Department may wish to reply specifically to King's communication. 54

MOOSE

867N.01/2205: Telegram The Acting Secretary of State to the Minister in Iraq (Henderson) 55

WASHINGTON, March 2, 1944—7 p. m. 27. Today's press carries reports of a telegram sent by Senator Wagner to the Presidents of the Iraqi Senate and Chamber in reply to their telegram to him. These reports quote the Senator as predicting the ultimate passage of the Palestine resolutions.

53 See footnote 40, p. 573.

In his telegram 64, March 7, noon, the Minister Resident reported that the King had indicated he would appreciate a reply; the Department replied in telegram 35, March 8, 7 p. m., that the matter was under active consideration (867N.01/2244).

** Repeated to Cairo in telegram 446, March 3, 9 p. m., with the instruction to repeat in turn to Beirut, Damascus, Jerusalem, and Jidda.

The Department, however, is still of the opinion expressed in the Department's No. 23, February 26, 9 p. m., that it appears unlikely that the resolutions will be reported out of committee and you may indicate this continuing belief if you have further discussions on the matter.

STETTINIUS

867N.01/22513 Memorandum by the Director of the Office of Near Eastern and

African Affairs (Murray) to the Under Secretary of State (Stettinius)

[WASHINGTON,] March 2, 1944. MR. STETTINIUS: At your suggestion I joined Mr. Dunn 56 during a call from Mr. McCloy on Thursday, March 2, to discuss the present status of the resolutions on Palestine.

Mr. McCloy stated that General Marshall had been invited personally by Senator Connally to discuss informally with him in his office and with "several members of the Committee” the War Department's attitude toward the Palestine resolutions. When General Marshall got to Senator Connally's office he found that the whole Committee had foregathered there so that his remarks were heard by all the members.

Mr. McCloy also informed me that he had prepared for General Marshall a careful memorandum 57 outlining the points that he should bring out during the discussion with the members of the Foreign Relations Committee.

Meanwhile, Chairman Bloom of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the House had asked Mr. McCloy and General Handy to appear before that Committee. If and when such an appearance occurs Mr. McCloy said he intends to follow the same line taken by General Marshall upon his, Mr. McCloy's, advice.

Mr. McCloy added that Chairman Bloom was expected to call upon him at the War Department that afternoon and that Bloom was endeavoring to induce the competent officials of the War Department to agree to some substitute resolution on Palestine to be introduced in Congress. Mr. McCloy feels that it would be a mistake for the War Department to be drawn into any discussions of this kind, and I inferred that he expected to tell Congressman Bloom as much.

In conclusion, Mr. McCloy expressed the view that the Department of State should take a more active part in opposing these resolutions since they had political as well as military implications. I reminded Mr. McCloy of the earlier experience the Department had had in endeavoring to obtain the support of the War Department to the issue of a joint American-British statement on Palestine 58 and of the complete lack of cooperation of the War Department in that instance. It was, I added, our distinct feeling that at the present time military considerations far outweigh any possible political implications in this matter, as was clear from the text of Mr. Stimson's letter to Senator Connally 59 on this subject.

58 James C. Dunn, Assistant Secretary of State. 57 Presumably the memorandum of February 22, p. 574.

With reference to Mr. Stimson's above-mentioned letter, I informed Mr. McCloy that the competent officials of this Department were strongly of the opinion that the letter should be published at the earliest possible moment. Mr. McCloy remarked that he did not know why Mr. Stimson had hesitated to publish the letter but believed it was because he was not sure that General Marshall would approve. I expressed the view that since the President himself desired the letter published and since the substance and the purport of the Stimson letter were pretty generally known on the Hill, there would seem to be no compelling reason for withholding publication at this time. Mr. McCloy did not disagree with this view.

WALLACE MURRAY

867N.00/3-344

Amir Abdullah of Transjordan to President Roosevelt

AMMAN, March 3, 1944. The deliberations of Congress affecting Palestine and the formation of a Jewish State therein have caused a great and heartfelt distress throughout the East. I say and I am convinced that the absence of sufficient information in the House of Congress respecting the true situation has facilitated the way to those in sympathy with the Zionist cause to further these deliberations. Remembering the great respect and admiration in which I hold you, your country and the American people, I say that while you are fighting with the United Nations for the freedom of the world and the removal of oppression at the same time the present deliberations are I feel contrary to that principle and would lead to the greatest sorrow and suffering if the intentions of the promoters of those deliberations were to be realized. I mention this personally in my capacity as a close neighbor of Palestine and as a loyal friend of the United Nations.

ABDULLAH

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For correspondence regarding this subject, see Foreign Relations, 1943, vol. IV, pp. 747 ff., passim.

50 Dated February 7, p. 563.

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