No. 791.
Mr. Beardsley to Mr. Fish.

No. 158.]

Sir: During the past month active negotiations have been carried on between his excellency Nubar Pasha and the agent and Consul-general [Page 1182] of France in Egypt, in relation to the project of judicial reform which the Egyptian government has so much at heart.

I have been permitted to examine the correspondence on the subject, from which it appears that the French government has acceded to the project in its entirety, with the exception of the paragraph marked G, in article 8 of chapter I, entitled “juridiction en matière pénale en ce qui concerne les inculpés étraugers.”

The paragraph G provides that the new courts shall have jurisdiction in all cases involving accusations against bankrupts for acts committed after the declaration of bankruptcy and against the judgments and authority of the courts, with the intent of defrauding their legitimate creditors, such for example as doing away with or secreting their property or destroying their books, or pretending to assume debts which they do not owe, or for any act prejudicial to their creditors.

France insists that such bankrupts, citizens of France, shall continue to be dealt with by the French consular courts in Egypt and liable to all the penalties of the French law, while Egypt contends that in so far as the criminality of their acts affects the dignity and authority of the courts they ought to be subject to the jurisdiction of the courts, that is to say, that the new courts should have power to punish offenses against their own authority.

France admits the justness of this view of the matter, but asks that he paragraph may be so changed as to provide that as between French subjects the new courts will be empowered to punish such offenses as are now alluded to only as they affect the dignity and authority of the sentences pronounced by the new tribunals.

The paragraph has accordingly been changed in accordance with these views, and it is believed that the project will now be accepted by the French Government.

rable action of our own Government is sincerely hoped for in this matter at an early day. In view of the fact that preparations are already being made by His Highness’s government for the organization of the new courts, and the importance of the nature of the action of the Senate being known here at the earliest possible moment, I have the honor to request that the final decision of our Government may be made known to me by telegraph.

I am, &c,