LEBANON: Free Again

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The world got a new democracy last week and Free France made character for itself in the Middle East. Two months after he freed Syria, Free French General Georges Catroux announced the end of France's Mandate over Lebanon, Syria's coastal neighbor, pronounced it an independent republic with its capital at Beirut.

Thus Allied promises of last summer to free both Syria and Lebanon were fulfilled. The Biblical land of silk, olives and tall cedars (long since decimated for lumber), a western terminus of the oil pipeline from Iraq, gained complete independence for the first time since its political separation from Syria in 1864. Lebanon's newly elected President Alfred Nacache, formerly Prime Minister under the French Mandate, set about choosing a Cabinet representing both Christians and Moslems.