No. 465.
Mr. Beardsley to Mr. Fish.

No. 32.]

Sir: I have the honor to inclose herewith a translation of the Sultan’s imperial firman, which was publicly read at Cairo on the 30th of September, as announced in my dispatch No. 16, of October 5.

It will be observed that the firman itself, which bears date of September 10, 1872, is general in its terms, and merely confirms the privileges granted by the former firmans of 1867 and 1869, while the hatt, which bears the later date of September 25, 1872, especially empowers the Egyptian government to contract and negotiate foreign loans without the authorization of the Porte.

It is believed that the firman alone was read on the date mentioned in my dispatch, and that the hatt was delivered to His Highness the Khedive, at a later date, having been brought by a special envoy who is known to have arrived in Egypt about a week after the firman was read at Cairo. This will account in a measure for the reluctancy of the Egyptian government to make known the contents of this important document and the fact that a translation of it appeared in the public journals at Constantinople before it was furnished to the foreign representatives here.

That the exact terms of the firmans of 1867 and 1869 my be on file in the Department, I propose to obtain translations of these documents as soon as possible, and forward in a future dispatch.

I am, &c.,

[Inclosure 1.—Translation.]

Imperial firman of the Sultan, read at Cairo on the 30th September, 1872.

The privileges accorded by our government to the Egyptian, government with a view to develop the prosperity of Egypt, are conditional on the entire fulfillment of the duties of the said government toward us, which duties have been already determined by our imperial orders.

In virtue of our imperial firman issued on the 5th Sefer, 1284, (7th June, 1867,) the internal administration, and, consequently, the financial interests of Egypt, have devolved upon the Egyptian government.

By our imperial favor it has been intrusted with the care of all that concerns the internal organization and the general progress of the country.

This being the case, you have represented to us that certain restrictions and exceptions contained in our firman of the 22d of Shaban, 1286, raised serious obstacles to the development and prosperity of Egypt.

You must be aware that the prosperity and happiness of our subjects are of the most vital importance in our eyes and the object of our most cherished desires.

The realization of these desires naturally depends on the means and facilities accorded for that purpose.

This being our imperial will, it is against our desire that the progress and the prosperity of Egypt should be trammeled by the restrictions appended to the privileges which our sovereign munificence accorded to the Egyptian government with a view to the development of its material and financial interests.

We have therefore ordered that the privileges conceded to you in our firman of the 5th Sefer, 1284, (7th June, 1867,) be maintained, and we have given the requisite instructions for the issuing of this supreme order from the Sublime Porte.

On the 7th day of Redjib, 1289, (10th September, 1872.)

[Page 1123]


The material and financial administration of Egypt having, in virtue of several of our imperial firmans, devolved entirely upon you the power of effecting foreign loans and of applying them for the welfare of Egypt, is comprised within the bounds of the privilege specially granted to the Egyptian government.

Henceforth, therefore, whenever, for the prosperity of the country, the contracting of a foreign loan becomes requisite we renew and confirm to you our permission to borrow the necessary sums in the name of the Egyptian government, and without asking us for a previous authorization.