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Digital Archive International History Declassified

August 16, 1950

UNTITLED REPORT ON A BRITISH-AMERICAN-LEBANESE EFFORT TO COMBAT COMMUNISM

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

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    Information on secret communications between American, British and Arab ministers to establish a section to combat communism in Lebanon and the Levant.
    "Untitled report on a British-American-Lebanese effort to combat communism," August 16, 1950, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Emir Farid Chehab Collection, GB165-0384, Box 10, File 6C/10, Middle East Centre Archive, St Antony’s College, Oxford. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/176066
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6C/10

Secret information

I am honoured to report,

We were contacted about ongoing secret negotiations between Mr Boswell, Minister of Britain, and Mr Pinkerton, Minister of America in Lebanon and the Foreign Ministers of Syria, Lebanon, Trans-Jordan, Iraq, and Egypt. The aim of these negotiations is to establish a section at the Lebanese Foreign Ministry, composed of representatives from the above-mentioned countries, entrusted with the task of combating communism and its supporters in the Levant.

Upon an intervention from the British and American authorities the Foreign Ministry recalled Mr Jean Haji-Touma, Lebanon's Consul in Cyprus who was once a police commissioner attached to the French Sûreté Générale and had been in charge of the force responsible for combating communism in Aleppo, Syria during the last Great War. The success of his mission during the war made the British and French authorities, at that time, appreciate his efforts, in addition to the very good reputation he personally enjoyed.

We learned that Mr Jean was in regular contact with the British authorities in Cyprus, supplied them with information, and shared with them his opinion about how best to combat communism after its influence grew in the Levant.

Mr Jean told us in confidence that the Government had asked him for information about the matter and requested clarifications from him about a number of details regarding this position, and that he was on his way to Cyprus to pack his bags and then his return home to place himself at the Government's disposal. He added that he will be based in Beirut, that his section will be separate from all other security departments, that he will select members of his force from among the most able police and Sûreté Générale cadres, that his responsibilities will be directly linked to the Prime Ministry to ensure that the desired goal of combating communism is shielded from any interferences and complications, and that he was awaiting the Government's official instructions regarding his role in combating communism.

It was learned from an informed source that the issue of establishing this anti-communist section in the Levant will be secretly considered by the Arab League during its current session in Alexandria, and that the League will probably instruct Arab countries to issue similar laws banning anyone from becoming a communist, and that once this law enters into effect, every communist will be considered a traitor to his nation, working for its destruction, and therefore deserving of the death sentence.

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