Mr. Beardsley to Mr. Fish.
Consulate-General of the United States in
Alexandria, November 15,
1872. (Received December 10.)
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
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
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.,
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
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
By our imperial favor it has been intrusted with the care of all that
concerns the internal organization and the general progress of the
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.)
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
Redjib, 1289, (25th September, 1872.)