University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Foreign Relations of the United States

Page View

United States Department of State / Papers relating to the foreign relations of the United States, 1918. Supplement 1, The World War

Part I: The continuation and conclusion of the war--participation of the United States,   pp. [1]-914 ff. PDF (332.8 MB)

Page 243

in Arabia. (See Report No. 11: Letters of Djemal Pasha to Emir
Faisal and Cherif Houssain.') The Turks point out that the first
step taken by the Allies after conquering southern Palestine was to
give it, an Arab country, to the Jews; and they, the Turks, insist
that England and France are fighting Turkey only to seize Mesopo-
tamia and Syria for themselves and not for the Arabs.
On December 23, 1917, Sir Mark Sykes, a special delegate of the
British Government (whose activities have been mentioned in several
previous reports), made the following statements in a speech de-
livered before the Central Syrian Committee at Paris:
1. Great Britain and France are at one in their politics in regard
to all that concerns the non-Turkish elements of the Ottoman
2. There exists no divergence or dispute between the two countries.
3. Jerusalem, Bagdad, Bassorah have been delivered from the
Turks, and if the Turks are unable to retake them by force of arms
they shall never have them by treaty.
4. The Arabs have brought to a successful conclusion the in-
dependence of the Hedjaz, and the least that can be said is that they
are able to maintain their position....2
Point 4, the independence of the Hedjaz, is also of real importance;
the accomplished fact of the independence of the Hedjaz renders it
almost impossible that an effective and real autonomy should be
refused to Syria.  2
1. The Turks are still the masters of Syria.
2. The Syrians are not united. Make no mistake, Europe will
not continue the war for the sole purpose of giving Syria her in-
dependence. And by this I wish to say that if when the war ends
the Turks are still in Damascus and Beyrouth and you Syrians being
still divided among yourselves into many parties following your
ancient races and religions, I would despair of obtaining for you
more than reforms on paper.
Get together, unite, and you will become a powerful political force
and if you desire a program, I would not know how to dictate it to
you, it is the circumstances which will write it.
1. First of all it is necessary to do away absolutely with the
negative Turkish regime: that which by unanimous opinion is in-
tolerable in Armenia, is equally intolerable in Syria.
2. You must desire that France give you her indispensable assist-
ance, which a people for long time oppressed has need of before it
can walk alone; you must demand guarantees of the civilized powers
of the world that you be not again submitted to Turkish domina-
tion, which has reduced you to poverty and discord.
A translation from the French of the entire speech 1 of Sir Mark
Sykes is attached to this report.
M. Jean Gout, Minister Plenipotentiary, representing the French
Minister of Foreign Affairs, made a speech after Sir Mark Sykes,
from which the following is quoted:
'Not printed.
2Punctuation as in the original.

Go up to Top of Page