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United States Department of State / Foreign relations of the United States diplomatic papers, 1937. The British Commonwealth, Europe, Near East and Africa

Egypt,   pp. 615-678 PDF (24.1 MB)

Page 635

   3. In approaching the problems which will be raised at the Con-
ference I desire you, therefore, to adopt a sympathetic and liberal
attitude toward the aspirations of the Egyptian Government. At
the same time you will, of course, endeavor to obtain such guarantees
and safeguards as may be considered essential for the proper protec-
tion of American interests, particularly with respect to the proposed
reform of the Mixed Tribunals. It is my view, however, that the
American Delegation should avoid taking the lead in discussing the
various problems which will arise at the Conference. I am sure that
this policy will commend itself to you since it is strictly in accordance
with the attitude which this Government has long adopted with re-
spect to Egyptian matters and is in consonance with the relative un-
importance of American interests in Egypt. The maintenance of
such a policy, taken in conjunction with the known absence of Ameri-
can political interests in Egypt, will, I believe, place the American
Delegation in a position to assist in reconciling divergent points of
view and thus contribute to the successful termination of the Con-
  4. At some appropriate moment during the early meetings of the
Conference you may make a statement along the lines of the
attached draft (Enclosure A), making such minor alterations therein,
without changing materially the substance, as may be required by the
atmosphere of the Conference and current developments.
  5. It is my understanding that an effort will be made at the Con-
ference to provide for the use of English as one of the official lan-
guages. You will, of course, give such a proposal your full support
  6. Of the strictly capitulatory privileges which the Egyptian Gov-
ernment desires to terminate one of the most important is that which
requires the formal consent of the Capitulatory Powers to the taxa-
tion of their nationals. The treaty basis for this privilege appears to
be vague and it seems probable that the Powers acquired the right,
to a large extent, by custom and usage. Moreover, on several occa-
sions this Government has consented to the application to American
nationals of specific taxation by the Egyptian Government. In view
of these circumstances no objection is perceived to the surrender by
this Government, at the same time similar surrender is made by all
the other Capitulatory Powers, of the privilege of requiring that its
consent be obtained before Egyptian taxes are levied upon American
nationals. At the appropriate moment during the proceedings of
the Conference you are authorized to make a declaration to that effect.
A draft of such declaration is enclosed (Enclosure B) for your use.
In the event the Egyptian Delegation expresses a desire to receive a
written statement covering this point you are authorized to furnish
such a statement in accordance with the attached draft.

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