Mr. Comanos to Mr. Evarts.
Cairo, September 1, 1879. (Received September 27.)
Sir: Saturday evening last I had an interview with His Highness the Khedive, and told him the substance of your telegram of last Thursday, [Page 1018] concerning the wish of the Government of the United States to be represented in the proposed commission of liquidation.
Tewfik Pacha expressed his pleasure at receiving such an application, and said that he hoped the United States would take a more active interest in Egyptian affairs than heretofore. He said, however, that as yet he had received no definite reply from the leading European governments concerning his proposal to establish a commission of liquidation, and that consequently he did not yet know what would be done in the matter, but that just as soon as the time should arrive for him to fix upon something positive, he would let me know. He desired me to do what I can to encourage the United States to take part in the solution of the difficulties which surround the Egyptian Government, with reference to the claims of the European creditors, and the action of the governments of Europe, for he considers that the influence of the Government of the United States, it being free from motives of self-interest, and unbiased by prejudice, cannot but result in advantage and gain to Egypt.
Hitherto the questions connected with the appointment of Mons. de Blignieres and Mr. Baring as controllers-general, and the definitition of their powers and function, have so occupied the attention of the governments of Europe, and that of the government of the Khedive, that the subject of a commission of liquidation has not yet been brought up for discussion.
His Highness is opposed to the appointment of controllers. He says the control was established as a check upon his father, but that now there is no reason for it, because there is nothing to control, for he has nothing to hide, no large harem or other expensive oriental luxuries to keep up at the expense of the public welfare, and that, moreover, the powers in contributing so largely toward the bestowal of the government of Egypt upon him must have done this because of their confidence in him, and that, therefore, they should now show that confidence by leaving him free to act according to his best judgment and ability.
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He wishes them to let him govern Egypt after his manner, and one of the first things he desires to be established is a committee for the regulation of the debt, and the proposing of a plan whereby the interest thereon shall be reduced to a rate which the revenues of the country will be able to meet, without the constant recurrence of a deficit.
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I have, &c.,