Appendix 3: Agreement for the Cessation of Hostilities in Syria and the Lebanon
General Sir Henry Maitland Wilson, GBE, KCB, DSO, General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Allied Forces in Palestine and Syria (acting in the name of the Commanders-in-Chief, Middle East)—on the one hand, and
General de Verdilhac, Commander of the Legion of Honour, Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the French Troops in Syria, (acting in the name of the French High Command)—on the other hand
have agreed to a Convention which ends hostilities in Syria and the Lebanon, of which the following are the terms:
1. Hostilities ceased on 11th July, 1941, at 2101 hours Greenwich Mean Time.
2. The Allied Forces will occupy Syro-Lebanese territory: the French Forces will be concentrated in certain areas selected by a committee formed of representatives of both parties. This concentration will be completed by Tuesday 15th July, 1941, at 1200 hrs. at which hour Allied Forces will move to occupy certain strategic points. Up to the time of their repatriation the French troops will remain under French Command, with a restricted establishment, which will provide for their maintenance from existing stocks. Special measures are foreseen for the Jebel Druse, where, for security reasons, the French Troops will remain in garrison until relieved by British Troops.
3. In order to ensure public security, the occupation of the principal localities in Syria and Lebanon will be undertaken in accordance with a programme which will allow immediate replacement of French by the occupying forces.
4. Minefields, whether on sea or on land, will be disclosed to the occupying authority.
5. Full honours of war will be granted to the French Forces. The latter will retire to the selected areas with all arms, including guns, machine-guns, tanks and armoured cars, and their ammunition. All measures will be taken by the French command to prevent arms and ammunition being left unguarded on the battlefield or elsewhere. The French military authorities will give every assistance in recovering arms which may be in the hands of the population.
6. In consideration of the honours of war, French officers and non-commissioned officers, and soldiers, are permitted to retain their individual arms (rifles or carbines; revolvers; bayonets; swords or sabres). However the soldiers will not be allowed to carry ammunition. In each unit, for security reasons, a small quantity of ammunition will be retained. The gendarmerie will retain its arms and a limited amount of ammunition. All other war material including guns, coastal batteries, anti-aircraft guns and
military transport will be stocked under British control. The latter will inspect this material and will have the right to take over the material that may be required by them; the remainder will be destroyed by the French authorities under British control.
7. Prisoners of the Allied Forces will be forthwith set free, including those who have been transferred to France. As regards the latter, the British authorities reserve the right to hold as prisoners of war, an equal number of French officers, as far as possible of similar ranks, until those prisoners transferred to France have been released. The French prisoners will be released when the whole of the Syro-Lebanese territory has been occupied and the clauses of this convention fulfilled. They will then be enabled to join their units for repatriation.
8. The alternatives of rallying to the Allied cause or of being repatriated will be left to the free choice of the individual whether military or civil. In the case of civilians who do not rally to the Allied cause, individual applications to remain in Syria or Lebanon will be considered by the British Authorities.
9. Executive officials, officials of the technical services and special service officers will remain at their posts so long as is necessary to ensure the continuance of the administration of the country and until such time as they can be relieved. They can then be repatriated if they so wish. Their services may be dispensed with if their work or attitude is not satisfactory.
10. The British Authorities agree to the repatriation by French ships of French troops and of French subjects, with the reservation that this repatriation will be limited to those who have opted therefor. The British Authorities reserve the right to control all matters relative to the repatriation of these people.
11. Holdings of French subjects to be repatriated will be transferred in accordance with terms to be arranged. These people will receive treatment not less favourable than that accorded to British subjects who have lately left Syria.
12. French cultural institutions, including hospitals, schools, missions, etc., are assured that their rights will be respected. The rights of these institutions must not be allowed to conflict with Allied military interests.
13. All public services, including railways, tramways, public transport, electricity and water, will be maintained in operation and handed over intact.
14. All means of communication, including telephones, telegraphs, wireless and the submarine cable, will be handed over intact to the occupying authorities. The French command will have the use of telegraph facilities with France on the same conditions as the general public.
15. Port installations, naval establishments and all ships—including British—in Syrian and Lebanese territorial waters, will be handed over intact to the occupying authorities.
16. All aircraft and air installations and equipment, in Syria or the Lebanon will be handed over intact. On the signature of the present agreement British aircraft are empowered to use any air base and alighting area in the Lebanon and Syria.
17. Fuel stocks shall be handed over intact. The quantity necessary for military transport will be placed at the disposal of the French Command.
18. Currency and other means of payment in circulation or in reserve, in possession of banks or other public authorities, will be safeguarded.
19. The British Military Authorities reserve the right to take into their service the ‘Troupes Spéciales du Levant’ progressively as they are discharged by the French authorities. The arms of these troops will be handed over to the British Authorities.
20. The British Authorities will not prosecute in any way native Syrians and Lebanese who have been involved in the recent hostilities in a military or official capacity.
21. The carrying into effect of the terms of this Convention will be controlled and regulated by a ‘Commission of Control’ which will sit at Beirut and will be composed of five members. Three of the members, including the President, will be nominated by the British Authorities, the remaining two by the French Authorities.
This ‘Commission of Control’ is empowered to appoint sub-commissions and to coopt the services of such experts as may be necessary.
22. This Convention is drawn up in English and in French. In case of dispute the English text will be authoritative.
(Signed) H. M. WILSON
General Officer Commanding-in- Chief, Allied Forces in Palestine and Syria, (Acting in the name of the Commanders-in-Chief, Middle East)
(Signed) DE VERDILHAC
Deputy Commander-in-Chief, The French Troops in Syria, (Acting in the name of the French High Command).
14th July, 1941.