Mr. Comanos to Mr. Evarts.
Cairo , September 3, 1878. (Received September 28).
Sir: Referring to my immediately preceding dispatch, No. 257, I have the honor to inform you that I have received from Nubar Pasha the formal notice of his appointment by the Khedive as president of the council of ministers, minister of foreign affairs, and minister of justice.
With that communication was inclosed a copy of the Khedive’s rescript, addressed to His Excellency, concerning the organization and attributes of this newly-instituted council of ministers, and a copy of the Khedive’s address to Mr. Rivers Wilson, concerning the report of the high commission of inquiry, of which Mr. Wilson is the vice-president. Translations of these three papers are herewith inclosed.
The newspapers of the 30th of August last announced officially that by decree of the Khedive the following appointments have been made: Riaz Pasha, minister of interior; Ratib-Pasha, minister of war; Aly Pasha Moubarak, minister of public instruction and of “Wakf” and, ad interim, of public works. “Walf” means real property set apart for the maintenance of the mosks and other religious institutions of Islam.
Together with the Khedive’s rescript above mentioned, the Phare d’Alexandrie, in its issue of the 31st of August last, published Nubar Pasha’s reply thereto. A translation of that reply is also inclosed herewith.
The newspaper La Reforme, published at Cairo, announced in its issue of the 2d of this month that His Excellency Riaz Pasha, minister of interior, has been appointed minister of finance ad interim, and that Mr. Rivers Wilson has gone to Europe on a mission, having been intrusted by Nubar Pasha with the task of contracting the loan which is necessary for the liquidation of the [acknowledged] “recognized” debts of the Khedive and of the Daïras. It is generally believed that this will be a loan of about twelve million pounds, and that Nubar Pasha contemplates proposing to the Khedive that he appoint Mr. Wilson to be minister of finance.
One of the first fruits of this new order of things in the government of Egypt has been the setting at liberty, by Nubar Pasha, in his character of minister of justice, of one Hassan Moussa el Akkad, an Egyptian subject and a man of large fortune, who has been detained for many months in the police prison of Cairo for no known crime and without accusation. This deed has made a very good impression upon the public mind. Returning to the subject-matter of the translations herewith inclosed, I solicit your special attention to that sentence toward the close of the Khedive’s rescript to Nubar Pasha where His Highness says: “Together with a judiciary organization extended generally [over [Page 927] all classes] this institution [i. e. the new council of ministers] suffices to meet the necessities of our social condition.”
In his letter to me (inclosure No. 1) Nubar Pasha amplifies the Khedive’s idea. He says, about the middle of his letter: “In consequence of a judiciary organization extending generally [over all classes], it will no longer be a part of the population, it will be all the population, which will enjoy the protection of the law, applied by an independent body.” Further on in the same letter His Excellency expresses his belief that “the Government of the United States will with satisfaction see His Highness entering on this new path, and that its good-will, sympathy, and co-operation will facilitate the task undertaken by the Khedive, the realization of which the Khedive has intrusted to His Excellency and his colleagues.” These sentences (taken in connection with Mr. Farman’s dispatches Nos. 251 and 253, of the 10th and 15th of July last), refer to the Khedive’s desire for an extension of the jurisdiction and competence of the reform tribunals so as to cover all classes of individuals, Europeans and Egyptian subjects, and all classes of cases, whether civil or criminal.
It is a pet idea of the Khedive to do away entirely and once for all with what still remains of the right of extraterritoriality attaching to Franks or Europeans in the land; and it now seems, from the quotations above, that to Nubar Pasha, the father of the system of reform tribunals, the carrying out of this wish is to be intrusted. Nothing short of a final breaking up of the time-honored capitulations is, in my opinion, aimed at. I specially solicit your attention to this point, because, according to the present indications, it will not be long before the European governments, and with them the United States, will be approached by Nubar Pasha with the new plan for their acceptance, the aim of which will be to put non-Egyptians on a level with the subjects of the Khedive in all matters pertaining to right, privilege; and taxation of persons.
I have, & c.,
- In the French: “solidaires, les uns des autres.”↩