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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)

Page 6

Syria. The question of the extent to which Great Britain and
France were concerned was cleared up in the interview he had had
with M. Clemenceau in London, and at which he had said that he
wanted Mosul with the adjacent regions and Palestine.
As there was no question between France and Great Britain in
regard to Syria, we could examine the question in as disinterested a
spirit as we could a Carpathian boundary to be decided in accordance
with the general principles accepted by the Conference. He wished
to make this clear before General Allenby said what he had to say.
In regard to Mosul, he wished to acknowledge the cordial spirit in
which M. Pichon had met our desires.
But if there was a French public opinion there was also a British
public opinion, and it must be remembered that the whole burden
of the Syrian campaign had fallen upon Great Britain. The num-
ber of French troops taking part in the campaign had been so small
as to make no difference. Sometimes they had been helpful, but not
on all occasions. The British Empire and India had maintained
from 900,000 to 1,000,000 troops in Turkey and the Caucasus. Their
casualties had amounted to 12t,000, the campaign had cost hundreds
of millions of pounds. He himself had done his best to induce M.
Clemenceau's predecessors to take part in the campaign. He had
also pressed Marshal Foch on the subject, and to this day he had in
his possession a rough plan drawn up by Marshal Foch during an
air raid at Boulogne. He had begged the French Government to
cooperate, and had pointed out to them that it would enable them
to occupy Syria, although, at the time, the British troops had not yet
occupied Gaza. This had occurred in 1917 and 1918, at a time when
the heaviest casualties in France also were being incurred by Brit-
ish troops. From that time onwards most of the heavy and continu-
ous fighting in France had been done by British troops, although
Marshal Petain had made a number of valuable smaller attacks.
This was one of the reasons why he had felt justified in asking Mar-
shal Foch for troops. He had referred to this in order to show that
the reason we had fought so hard in Palestine was not because we
had not been fighting in France. M. Pichon seemed to think that
we were departing from the 1916 agreement in other respects, as well
as in respect to Mosul and Palestine. In fact, we were not. M.
Pichon had omitted in his lucid statement to explain that the blue
area in which France was "allowed to establish such direct or indirect
administration or control as they may desire and as they may think
fit to arrange with the Arab State or Confederation of Arab States"
did not include Damascus, Homs, Hama, or Aleppo. In area A.
France was "prepared to recognise and uphold an independent Arab
State or Confederation of Arab States . . . under the suzerainty of
an Arab Chief". Also in area A. France would "have priority of

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