Papers Relating to the Foreign Relations of the United States, 1921, Volume I
The Consul General at London (Skinner) to the Secretary of State
[Received March 21.]
Sir: I have the honor to transmit herewith for the information of the Department copies of the report of the Special Mission to Egypt of which Lord Milner at that time Colonial Minister, was Chairman. The report may be referred to as Cmd.1131. Egypt.No.1. 1921.
I have [etc.]
Report of the British Special Mission to Egypt
B.—The Memorandum of August 18, 1920
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… This document, which presently came to be known as the “Milner-Zaghlul Agreement,” but which, on the face of it, was not an agreement, but merely an outline of the bases on which an agreement might subsequently be framed, was handed by Lord Milner to Adli Pasha, who, as an intermediary between the two parties, had had a large share in all our negotiations, to be communicated by him to Zaghlul Pasha and his friends. It was understood that they might make free use of it in public discussion in Egypt. It was dated the 18th August and was in the following terms:—
“The accompanying memorandum is the result of the conversations held in London in June to August 1920 between Lord Milner and the members of the Special Mission to Egypt, and Zaghlul Pasha and the members of the Egyptian Delegation, in which conversations Adli Pasha also took part. It outlines a policy for the settlement of the Egyptian question in the best interests both of Great Britain and Egypt.[Page 904]
“The members of the Mission are prepared to recommend the British Government to adopt the policy indicated in the memorandum, if they are satisfied that Zaghlul Pasha and the Delegation are likewise prepared to advocate it, and will use all their influence to obtain the assent of an Egyptian National Assembly to the conclusion of such a Treaty as is contemplated in Articles 3 and 4.
“It is clear that unless both parties are cordially united in supporting it, the policy here suggested cannot be pursued with success.
“1. In order to establish the independence of Egypt on a secure and lasting basis, it is necessary that the relations between Great Britain and Egypt should be precisely defined, and the privileges and immunities now enjoyed in Egypt by the capitulatory Powers should be modified and rendered less injurious to the interests of the country.
“2. These ends cannot be achieved without further negotiations between accredited representatives of the British and Egyptian Governments respectively in the one case, and between the British Government and the Governments of the capitulatory Powers in the other case. Such negotiations will be directed to arriving at definite agreements on the following lines:—
“3.—(i) As between Egypt and Great Britain a Treaty will be entered into, under which Great Britain will recognise the independence of Egypt as a constitutional monarchy with representative institutions, and Egypt will confer upon Great Britain such rights as are necessary to safeguard her special interests and to enable her to furnish the guarantees which must be given to foreign Powers to secure the relinquishment of their capitulatory rights.
(ii.) By the same Treaty, an alliance will be concluded between Great Britain and Egypt, by which Great Britain will undertake to support Egypt in defending the integrity of her territory, and Egypt will undertake, in case of war, even when the integrity of Egypt is not affected, to render to Great Britain all the assistance in her power, within her own borders, including the use of her harbours, aerodromes and means of communication for military purposes.
“4. This Treaty will embody stipulations to the following effect:—
- Egypt will enjoy the right to representation in foreign countries. In the absence of any duly-accredited Egyptian representative, the Egyptian Government will confide its interests to the care of the British representative. Egypt will undertake not to adopt in foreign countries an attitude which is inconsistent with the alliance or will create difficulties for Great Britain, and will also undertake not to enter into any agreement with a foreign Power which is prejudicial to British interests.
- Egypt will confer on Great Britain the right to maintain a military force on Egyptian soil for the protection of her Imperial communications. The Treaty will fix the place where the force shall be quartered and will regulate any subsidiary matters which require to be arranged. The presence of this force shall not [Page 905] constitute in any manner a military occupation of the country, or prejudice the rights of the Government of Egypt.
- Egypt will appoint, in concurrence with His Majesty’s Government, a Financial Adviser, to whom shall be entrusted in due course the powers at present exercised by the Commissioners of the Debt, and who will be at the disposal of the Egyptian Government for all other matters on which they may desire to consult him.
- Egypt will appoint, in concurrence with His Majesty’s Government, an official in the Ministry of Justice, who shall enjoy the right of access to the Minister. He shall be kept fully informed on all matters connected with the administration of the law as affecting foreigners, and will also be at the disposal of the Egyptian Government for consultation on any matter connected with the efficient maintenance of law and order.
- In view of the contemplated transfer to His Majesty’s Government of the rights hitherto exercised under the regime of the Capitulations by the various foreign Governments, Egypt recognises the right of Great Britain to intervene, through her representative in Egypt, to prevent the application to foreigners of any Egyptian law now requiring foreign consent, and Great Britain on her side undertakes not to exercise this right except in the case of laws operating inequitably against foreigners.
- In view of the contemplated transfer to His Majesty’s Government of the rights hitherto exercised under the regime of the Capitulations by the various foreign Governments, Egypt recognises the right of Great Britain to intervene, through her representative in Egypt, to prevent the application to foreigners of any Egyptian law now requiring foreign consent, and Great Britain on her side undertakes not to exercise this right except in the case of laws inequitably discriminating against foreigners in the matter of taxation, or inconsistent with the principles of legislation common to all the capitulatory Powers.
- On account of the special relations between Great Britain and Egypt created by the Alliance, the British representative will be accorded an exceptional position in Egypt and will be entitled to precedence over all other representatives.
- The engagements of British and other foreign officers and administrative officials who entered into the service of the Egyptian Government before the coming into force of the Treaty may be terminated, at the instance of either the officials themselves or the Egyptian Government, at any time within two years after the corning into force of the Treaty. The pension or compensation to be accorded to officials retiring under this provision, in addition to that provided by the existing law, shall be determined by the Treaty. In cases where no advantage is taken of this arrangement existing terms of service will remain unaffected.
“5. This Treaty will be submitted to the approval of a Constituent Assembly, but it will not come into force until after the agreements with foreign Powers for the closing of their Consular Courts and the decrees for the reorganisation of the Mixed Tribunals have come into operation.[Page 906]
“6. This Constituent Assembly will also be charged with the duty of framing a new Organic Statute, in accordance with the provisions of which the Government of Egypt will in future be conducted. This Statute will embody provisions for the Ministers being responsible to the Legislature. It will also provide for religious toleration for all persons and for the due protection of the rights of foreigners.
“7. The necessary modifications in the régime of the Capitulations will be secured by agreements to be concluded by Great Britain with the various capitulatory Powers. These agreements will provide for the closing of the foreign Consular Courts, so as to render possible the reorganisation and extension of the jurisdiction of the Mixed Tribunals and the application to all foreigners in Egypt of the legislation (including legislation imposing taxation) enacted by the Egyptian Legislature.
“8. These agreements will provide for the transfer to His Majesty’s Government of the rights previously exercised under the regime of the Capitulations by the various foreign Governments. They will also contain stipulations to the following effect:—
- No attempt will be made to discriminate against the nationals of a Power which agrees to close its Consular Courts, and such nationals shall enjoy in Egypt the same treatment as British subjects.
- The Egyptian Nationality Law will be founded on the jus sanguinis, so that the children born in Egypt of a foreigner will enjoy the nationality of their father, and will not be claimed as Egyptian subjects.
- Consular officers of the foreign Powers shall be accorded by Egypt the same status as foreign Consuls enjoy in England.
- Existing Treaties and Conventions to which Egypt is a party on matters of commerce and navigation, including postal and telegraphic Conventions, will remain in force. Pending the conclusion of special agreements to which she is a party, Egypt will apply the Treaties in force between Great Britain and the foreign Power concerned on questions affected by the closing of the Consular Courts, such as extradition Treaties, Treaties for the surrender of seamen deserters, &c, as also Treaties of a political nature, whether multilateral or bilateral, e.g., arbitration Conventions and the various Conventions relating to the conduct of hostilities.
- The liberty to maintain schools and to teach the language of the foreign country concerned will be guaranteed, provided that such schools are subject in all respects to the laws applicable generally to European schools in Egypt.
- The liberty to maintain or organise religious and charitable foundations, such as hospitals, &c., will also be guaranteed.
“The Treaties will also provide for the necessary changes in the Commission of the Debt and the elimination of the international element in the Alexandria Board of Health.
“9. The legislation rendered necessary by the aforesaid agreements between Great Britain and the foreign Powers, will be effected by decrees to be issued by the Egyptian Government.[Page 907]
“A decree shall be enacted at the same time validating all measures, legislative, administrative or judicial, taken under Martial Law.
“10. The decrees for the reorganisation of the Mixed Tribunals will provide for conferring upon these Tribunals all jurisdiction hitherto exercised by the foreign Consular Courts, while leaving the jurisdiction of the Native Courts untouched.
“11. After the coming into force of the Treaty referred to in Article 3, Great Britain will communicate its terms to foreign Powers and will support an application by Egypt for admission as a member of the League of Nations.
“August 18, 1920.”