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611.60 d 31/48
[WASHINGTON,] December 21, 1925. SIR: I have the honor to make the following statement of my understanding of the agreement reached through recent conversations held at Washington on behalf of the Government of Finland and the Government of the United States with reference to the treatment respecting tonnage dues and other charges which Finland shall accord to vessels of the United States and their cargoes in the ports of Finland, and which the United States shall accord to vessels of Finland and their cargoes in the ports of the United States.
These conversations have disclosed a mutual understanding between the two Governments, as follows:
On and after February 1, 1926, Finland will impose no tonnage duties, light, harbor or port dues, or other charges on vessels of the United States in the ports of Finland which are not imposed on vessels of Finland, and Finland will levy no higher or other duties or charges on goods imported into its ports in vessels of the United States than are levied on like goods imported in vessels of Finland.
It is understood that, without altering the above stipulations insofar as the amount of pilotage dues is concerned, the duty of employing pilots by vessels of the United States shall be governed by the stipulations of the Finnish law in this respect about foreign vessels in general. It is also understood that the United States of America shall not, on the ground of the above stipulations, claim any privileges which Finland has conceded or will concede to Russian fishing or sealing vessels in the Arctic waters.
The United States will impose no discriminating duties of tonnage on vessels of Finland in the ports of the United States and no discriminating imposts on the goods imported into the United States in vessels of Finland. This undertaking on the part of the United States will be effected by a proclamation to be issued by the President of the United States on the receipt of notification by him from the Government of Finland that the undertaking on the part of Finland stated in the preceding paragraphs has been brought into force.
The present arrangement, unless sooner terminated by mutual agreement, shall continue in force until thirty days after notice of its termination shall have been given by either party; or, should either party be prevented by future action of its Legislature from carrying out the terms of this arrangement the obligations thereof shall thereupon lapse.
I shall be glad to have your confirmation of the accord thus reached. Accept [etc.]
611.60 d 31/56
The Finnish Minister (Åström) to the Secretary of State
WASHINGTON, January 30, 1926. SIR: Referring to the agreement effected by exchange of notes between Finland and the United States respecting tonnage dues and other charges, signed December 21, 1925, I have the honor to notify Your Excellency that, according to advice received by me from my Government, the statute bringing into force the agreement on the part of Finland has been enacted on January 29, of this year. Accept [etc.]
PRECAUTIONS BY THE UNITED STATES FOR THE SAFETY OF
AMERICANS DURING THE SYRIAN INSURRECTION
The Consul at Beirut (Knabenshue) to the Secretary of State
BEIRUT, August 7, 1925—2 p. m.
[Received August 8–12:57 p. m.] The principal causes of the present Druse uprising are: (1) the failure of Sarrail ? ... to grant Djebel Druse a native governor; (2) the refusal to recall French governor who has treated the Druses in a manner which they consider intolerable; and (3) the arrest and deportation of notables of importance who were called, on the pretext of a conference, to Damascus.
On August 3d the French in their initial advance to relieve the garrison besieged at Souada were repulsed and forced to withdraw from Djebel Druse to their base at Ezraa. Many were killed and wounded and a great deal of artillery, ammunition, and supplies was abandoned. The defeat was due: (1) to a formidable attack of the Druses on the French main column as well as on the line of communications; (2) to exhaustion of the troops, caused by inadequate water and excessive heat; and (3) to the desertion of some of the Syrian and colonial units.
In the whole of Syria the French forces number only 8,000 colonial troops and 6,000 Syrian legion. The only French troops are technical units.
The French military situation here is fraught with dangerous possibilities. Increasing disaffection with resulting dangerous situation would probably follow the circulation of propaganda by Arab Moslems among the colonial and Syrian troops.
It is feared that unless important reenforcements arrive, the present forces will be insufficient to cope with the Druse uprising and at the same time to repel probably increasing raids along the Turkish frontier and the widespread brigandage which will undoubtedly prevail throughout the country as a result of the present situation.
French High Commissioner for Syria and the Lebanon.
Fearing serious disorder, the French authorities at Damascus have sent their families to Beirut and have advised the American and Italian consuls to do likewise.
8900.00/192 : Telegram The Secretary of State to the Consul at Beirut (Knabenshue)
WASHINGTON, August 10, 1925—noon. Your telegram of August 7, 2 p. m. You are instructed to use your discretion, in consultation with the consul at Damascus, as to what action to take with respect to advising American citizens in the region affected by the Druse revolt to go to Beirut.
There are two United States destroyers in the Adriatic. If you think it necessary, the Department will take up with the Navy Department the question of sending one or both of them to Beirut or to Alexandria, from where they could easily go to Beirut if needed. Telegraph report.
8900.00/193 : Telegram
The Consul at Beirut (Knabenshue) to the Secretary of State
BEIRUT, August 11, 1925—2 p. m.
[Received 2:30 p. m.] Department's telegram of August 10, noon. It is not necessary or advisable to have American destroyers sent here at present. The only American citizens now in the affected region are naturalized citizens of Syrian origin who are living in their native villages. Order is being maintained in Damascus by reenforced police and troops. So far the rest of the country is quiet.
According to late information which is thought to be reliable, 5,000 French troops and a somewhat larger number of Druses were engaged in the battle of August 3. The French casualties are given as 1,200 and the Druses' 2,500, the latter resulting from sacrifices in a successful movement to lure the main body of French troops into an ambush. There is a rumor that since that battle the Druses have taken Souada with the besieged French garrison of about 400 soldiers. No further action is reported, the Druses for the moment remaining on the defensive and the French entrenching 6 miles south of Damascus and Kiswe. The French are awaiting reenforcements, of whom several hundred have since arrived.
8902.00/213 : Telegram The Consul at Beirut (Knabenshue) to the Secretary of State
BEIRUT, October 9, 1925—6 p. m.
[Received October 9—4:37 p. m.] As foreshadowed in despatches of September 2 and August 132 which please consult, brigandage and uprisings are now taking place at several important points in Syria as well as the Lebanon. On October 4th Bedouins attacked Hama and assisted by local gendarmes burned public buildings. French rushed troops and aeroplanes and destroyed practically entire Moslem quarter by bombing, causing casualties about 500.
Three villages within Lebanon have been sacked and destroyed by Druse raiders who are reported to have surrounded Rasheya.
Keeley: reports that French flags were torn down during antiFrench demonstration on Prophet's birthday, that despite official communiqué to contrary public security is becoming worse and that bandit attacks are taking place in city of Damascus and its environs, with guerrilla warfare increasing throughout the district.
Altaffer reports that outbreaks may be expected in Aleppo as result of Hama incident, that Moslems are threatening and Christians are uneasy and that all trains are under military escort.
If uprisings spread as is generally expected, situation will become serious, as French do not seem to have sufficient troops here to cope with both Druses and general uprisings. In any event the situation will probably become worse before it becomes better.
Economic situation is bad. Banks are refusing to discount bills and bankruptcies are expected. American exporters should be confidentially advised to demand interest (irrevocable] credits in New York,
890d. 48/13a : Telegram The Secretary of State to the Consul at Beirut (Knabenshue)
WASHINGTON, October 17, 1925–6 p. m. Red Cross has received appeal from Dr. Ward 6 for $50,000 for 8,000 persons destitute in Hauran District as result of Druse uprising. Telegraph your recommendations.
Morning press reports, “Druse tribesmen have cut DamascusBeirut railroad. Situation serious." Comment briefly.
'Neither printed. James H. Keeley, Jr., consul at Damascus. Maurice W. Altaffer, vice consul at Aleppo. "Dr. E. St. John Ward of the American University of Beirut, chairman of the Beirut chapter of the American Red Cross prior to its disbandment in 1924.