The Ambassador in Great Britain (Davis) to the Secretary of State

No. 4287

Sir: With reference to my telegram No. 176, March 4, 1 p.m.,82 and previous correspondence in regard to the jurisdiction of the Palestine Courts over foreigners, I have the honor to transmit herewith copies of a Note No. E. 2340/1647/88 dated March 2nd, 1921, which I have received from the Foreign Office in this connection.

The Foreign Office state that the British High Commissioner for | Palestine has been instructed to hand over to the American Consul for trial the American citizen who was recently convicted on a charge of forgery by the Jaffa Court.

I have [etc.]

John W. Davis

The British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (Curzon) to the American Ambassador (Davis)

E 2340/1647/88

Your Excellency: I have the honour to refer to the note which Your Excellency was so good as to address to me on the 3rd. February83 with regard to the jurisdiction of the Palestine Courts over foreigners.

His Majesty’s Government appreciate, while regretting the legal reasons and somewhat technical considerations which prompt the United States Government to press their representations for the [Page 121] recognition of United States Consular jurisdiction in Palestine, pending the entry into force of the Treaty of Peace with Turkey and the mandate for Palestine, upon which date, as already pointed out in my note of December 29th., the extra-territorial rights enjoyed by foreigners in Palestine will definitely cease to exist. While therefore His Majesty’s Government are naturally reluctant to override the decision of the Jaffa Court, and thus not only to run the risk of adversely affecting the authority and prestige of the responsible British authorities in Palestine but also to render more difficult the heavy task which they have accepted, with, as they hoped, the cordial good-will of the United States Government, they are prepared in deference to the United States Government’s representations and as a mark of their friendly sentiments to accede to the United States Government’s wishes in this matter, pending the coming into force of the Treaty of Peace.
Instructions are accordingly being sent to His Majesty’s High Commissioner for Palestine that the United States citizen who was recently convicted on a charge of forgery by the Jaffa Court should be handed over to United States Consul for trial.

I have [etc.]

(For the Secretary of State)
Lancelot Oliphant
  1. Not printed.
  2. See telegram no. 73, Feb. 1, to the Ambassador in Great Britain, p. 119.