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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 670

of consular officers just as heretofore on a basis of full reciprocity.
The Greek Foreign Office officials were apparently going to set about
to obtain the consent of their own Finance Department to this pro-
posal but they were not at all certain that the Finance Department's
cooperation could be counted upon. They hoped the consent of the
Finance Department to this proposal might be obtained in view of the
fact that Greece would benefit considerably by such an arrangement as
there are decidedly more Greek consular officers in Egypt than there
are Egyptian consular officers in Greece. The Greek Charg6 d'Affaires
expressed doubts of the acceptance of such a proposal by the Egyptian
Government. In any case these discussions were informal and may
come to nothing. Officially the Greek Legation has not taken any
action and is not expecting any immediate instructions to do so.
  The Department invites comment as to whether negotiations should
be proposed in the near future or deferred to await the outcome of
negotiations of other principal powers with Egypt. I am of the
opinion that negotiations undertaken promptly have the best chance
of being brought to a satisfactory conclusion. In principle it seems
to me desirable to take advantage of the good feeling engendered by
the conclusion of the Montreux Convention. This feeling exists at
the present time in respect of the former Capitulatory Powers. The
Egyptian officials who successfully negotiated the Montreux Conven-
tion have continued at the head of the Government. It is a reason-
able assumption that they would be well disposed towards negotiations
proposed by one of the powers which had shown such friendly dis-
position towards Egypt by giving consent to the termination of im-
portant rights and had thereby incidentally enhanced their personal
prestige. If power should pass to the hands of other Egyptians who
did not directly participate in the Montreux negotiations, their view-
point might be entirely different. It is not unlikely that anything
connected with or resulting from the activities of the Government
which negotiated at Montreux might, as a matter of principle, be
carped at and criticized by their successors, and ill founded but none
the less active opposition might be encountered tending to defeat or
at least to delay unreasonably the object of the negotiations for reasons
of interior politics alone.
  Furthermore, apart from the foregoing considerations, an impor-
tant advantage might lie in the fact of being the first to propose ne-
gotiations. The Egyptian officials would more likely deal with the
negotiations in a prompter and more elastic fashion than if already
wearied and with the edge of their interest blunted by several similar
previous contacts. Again, to await the outcome of other negotia-
tions might risk the acceptance by other powers of less advantageous

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