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Levant States (French Troops)

Volume 415: debated on Wednesday 31 October 1945

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asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether an agreement has yet been come to as to the date on which French troops will be withdrawn from the Levant States; what is the position in regard to the negotiations on this matter; and whether an early decision may be expected.

No, Sir. We are exchanging views with the French Government on this matter. I cannot say when a decision will be reached.

:Is it not a fact that the people of Syria are getting very disturbed and worried about the apparent delay in these negotiations? Will the right hon. Gentleman also say what responsibilities, if any, rest upon British troops for preserving order and avoiding bloodshed?

I know that the Syrians and the Lebanese are irritated at the delay, but we pledged ourselves to keep order, and we are pursuing the negotiations. I think I had better leave it at that.