The Secretary of State to the Minister in Egypt (Howell)
Sir: The Department refers to its instruction No. 227 of August 6, 1925, and to your replies Nos. 691 and 717 of September 30 and December 4, 1925,2 respectively, regarding the difficulties encountered by certain American archaeological interests in the continuance of their excavation and research work in Egypt as a result of the regulations governing the issuance of excavation permits put into effect in the fall of 1924 by the Egyptian Antiquities Service.
For your further information and guidance, the Department transmits, herewith, copies of its instructions of this date to the Embassies in London and Paris2a recapitulating subsequent developments in this matter and directing those missions to ascertain whether the British and French Governments are now willing to associate themselves in making representations in this matter to the Egyptian Government along the lines set forth in a draft note which the Department is prepared to authorize you to present to the Egyptian Government in the event that no circumstances meanwhile develop which would make desirable any modification of the action proposed. A copy of this draft note, providing in general for representations along the lines of those proposed in the Department’s earlier instruction, is also enclosed.
The Department desires that you furnish, confidentially, your British and French colleagues with copies of this draft note and ascertain from them whether they are in a position to make representations of a similar character or to support the representations which you propose to make.
In this connection you will note in the enclosed copies of instructions to the American Embassies in London and Paris that these missions are directed to report briefly to the Department by telegraph the results of the further representations which they are to make, [Page 59] respectively, to the British and French Foreign Offices. Upon the receipt of such telegraphic reports the Department will communicate further with your mission. Pending the receipt of such further communication you will of course withhold presentation to the Egyptian Government of the enclosed draft note, the receipt of which you should, however, acknowledge by telegraph with your comments.
In the meantime and in connection with such discussion of this question as you may be able to hold with your British and French colleagues, the Department would be pleased to have you discuss the text of the enclosed draft note with Doctor Breasted,3 Mr. Winlock4 and such other representative American archaeologists in Egypt as you may see fit, impressing upon them, however, the strictly confidential character of such discussions. Representatives of the Metropolitan Museum of Art of New York City have already indicated their full concurrence in the subject matter and form of this proposed note, and other archaeological interests in this country have urged the Department to support the general position set forth therein. The Department would be pleased, therefore, to receive through you any observations or views in this matter which may be expressed by interested American archaeologists in Egypt. You should transmit by telegraph to the Department a brief summary of any such observations together with any comment which you may consider appropriate.
I am [etc.]