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Digital Archive International History Declassified

April 23, 1949

UNTITLED REPORT ON COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN LEBANON

This document was made possible with support from the Youmna and Tony Asseily

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    Rumors among communists in Lebanon of possible government suppression.
    "Untitled report on Communist activities in Lebanon," April 23, 1949, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Emir Farid Chehab Collection, GB165-0384, Box 1, File 28/1, Middle East Centre Archive, St Antony’s College, Oxford. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/119831
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Beirut, Apr. 23, 1949

Number 38/ Discussions and rumors in the last 24 hours are as follows:

First- In communist circles, the Lebanese government will soon take the same approach as the Syrian and Iraqi governments in fighting communism strongly and will insist on stopping the issuing of “Soviet News” magazine.  His Excellency the Prime Minister has met with Solod in that regard, where they insisted that banning this publication is considered, in communist circles, the start of this clash, especially when the Russians are insisting on continuing to issue it.

Second- It was confirmed in communist clubs that there was an agreement between Syria, Iraq and Turkey to fight communism and the Lebanon and the rest of the Arab countries will take part in it.

This rumor was the main reason for the increase of communist caution and their distancing themselves from showing off their communism as they did before.

The communist publication that was distributed on Tuesday and was mentioned in my memo No. 19, dated Apr. 20, 1949, was not distributed everywhere.  One communist declared to me that they received instructions not to allow the police to arrest them, that’s why they did not distribute except in limited points.  Likewise, communist meetings that were being held in the homes of the representatives of the Russian Legation have basically seized this week, which is an indication of a new direction for these meetings that I will try to find out about.

Third- Mr. Victor Nicolai, the press secretary of the Russian Legation, has shown noted interest in the information that came in the “Al-Hadaf” newspaper issued yesterday afternoon, on Apr. 23, 1949, regarding employees of Al-Qlai’aat Airport that belongs to the Iraqi Oil Company, especially what relates to its military employees, which is why he came to me this morning to request that I get him all copies of the paper that I can get, so I bought him 23 copies he took to send to Russia and the Cominform.

Forth- I mentioned in my memo No. 36, dated Apr. 22, 1949, the Russian interest in the news they received that the British in East Jordan are arming the Druze in Jabal Druze and they [the Russians] are wondering about the reasons behind that.

Nicolai told me today that he got news that Makko Baban arrived in Jabal Druze and contacted Druz leaders and that he is still interested as are his comrades in this matter.

Fifth- Graffiti on the walls of Piko Street say “Criminal Communism Is nearing the End” and “Communism is the Enemy of the Nation, Fight it.”  Also in Balbin Street, there was the same graffiti in addition to other new statements that “Communism Is a Destructive Hindrance to Nationalism and the Family” and that “Stalin Is Public Enemy Number One to Arabs.”

I think that the Socialist Nationalist Party members are the ones who drew these writings.

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