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United States Department of State / Foreign relations of the United States diplomatic papers, 1937. The British Commonwealth, Europe, Near East and Africa
(1937)

Syria and the Lebanon,   pp. 923-938 PDF (6.0 MB)


Page 923


SYRIA AND THE LEBANON
CONFIRMATION BY THE FRENCH HIGH COMMISSION OF THE CON-
  TINUED APPLICATION OF THE KNABENSHUE-GOURAUD AGREE-
  MENT REGARDING PROTECTION BY THE UNITED STATES OF NAT-
  URALIZED AMERICANS OF SYRIAN OR LEBANESE ORIGIN'
890D.11/49
          Mr. George A. Fem'i to the Secretary of State
                                    NEW YORr, September 9, 1937.
                                         [Received September 10.]
  DEAiR MR. SECRETARY: I am addressing this communication to you
at the instance of several Arabic newspapers published in this Country
and a number of societies, including the Lebanese League of Progress,
which organizations are composed of American citizens of Lebanese
and Syrian origin.
  The problem discussed hereinafter is of vital importance to Ameri-
can citizens of Syrian and Lebanese origin, as well as their descend-
ents who are native born Americans, and I respectfully request that
you give this matter the attention that it deserves in order that these
American citizens who number perhaps in excess of 300,000, exclu-
sive of their native born children, should know how to proceed in
order to protect, first, their status as American citizens, secondly,
their rights as such, when and if they visit their native lands and,
thirdly, their property rights in Lebanon and Syria.
  According to the reliable information received by me and by those
whom I represent, Article 34 of the Treaty of Lausanne 2 provides
substantially as follows:
  "Turkish subjects over 18 years of age, originating from a territory
separated from Turkey by virtue of the present treaty, and who, at
the time of the enforcement of this treaty, are residents of foreign
lands, have the privilege of voting for the nationality in force in their
native territory, if they are united through their race, to the majority
of the population of this territory, and if their option is accepted by
the government of said territory, this privilege of option must be ful-
filled within a period of two years from the date of the enforcement
of this treaty."
1Agreement by exchange of notes between the American Consul at Beirut,
Knabenshue, and the French High Commissioner, Gouraud, In 1921; see Hack-
worth, Digest of International Law, vol. in, pp. 194-196.
'Treaty of Peace signed at Lausanne, July 24, 1923; for text, see League
of
Nations Treaty Series, vol. xxvmii, p. 11.
                                                         923


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