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United States Department of State / Papers relating to the foreign relations of the United States, The Paris Peace Conference, 1919

The Council of Four: minutes of meetings March 20 to May 24, 1919,   pp. [V]-917 ff. PDF (305.7 MB)

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supply advisers or foreign functionaries at the request of the Arab
State or Confederation of Arab States. In addition Great Britain
was to be accorded the ports of Haifa and Acre. Haifa was to be a
free port as regards the trade of France, and there was to be freedom
of transit for French goods through Haifa by the British railway, for
which facilities were to be given. Alexandretta, which fell in the blue
area, was to be a free port as regards the trade of the British Empire,
and there was to be freedom of traffic for British goods through Alex-
andretta by railway through the blue area. In addition, there were
certain customs and political stipulations. Such were the general dis-
positions of 1916 which he emphasised were designed-
(1) To favour the establishment of an Arab State or Confederation
of States and to detach the Arabs from Turkey:
(2) To decide between the claims of Great Britain and France.
The above agreement confirmed, by an exchange of Notes between
M. Paul Cambon and Sir Edward Grey (Lord Grey), declarations
which had been made by Great Britain as early as 1912, in which
Great Britain had disinterested herself and recognised the rights of
France in Syria, subject only to Great Britain's insistence on keeping
untouched her economic rights. In short, Great Britain had declared
she had no political claims, but that her economic rights must remain
intact in Syria.
Since the conclusion of the Agreement of 1916 there had been a
long further correspondence and an exchange of many Notes between
France and Great Britain concerning particularly various local in-
terests. This brought us to the most recent period in which the
French made, he would not say a protest against, but a series of ob-
servations in regard to, the British' attitude in Syria. The whole
series of these had recently been handed by the President of the
Council to Lord Milner.
The incidents referred to in this correspondence were chiefly due
to the disproportion in the relative contingents furnished by Great
Britain and France to the campaign in Syria. It had only been pos-
sible for France to send a very small number of troops to Syria in
consequence of the large demands made on her for the protection
of French soil and to the prominent part played by her armies in
Salonica. Great Britain, however, had interested herself far more
in the Turkish campaigns, and had sent many troops which had been
led by General Allenby. From that disproportion there resulted a
great many incidents. Eventually, the President of the Council had
thought it right to bring them before the British Government with
a view to putting an end to the faction and the friction which now

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