The Minister in Egypt ( Howell ) to the Secretary of State

No. 745

Sir: I have the honor to refer to the Department’s instruction to this Legation No. 176, of September 10, 1924,12 regarding Swiss interests in Egypt as applied especially to citizens of the German-Swiss cantons, and, apropos of same, to herewith enclose a copy of an Aide Memoire this day received from The Residency bearing upon the same subject matter. The Residency expressed the hope that it might have the comments of the Legation upon this question at as early a date as practicable.

Should the Department deem an answer to this proposition of such importance as to reply by cable same doubtless would be duly appreciated by His Britannic Majesty’s principal representative in Egypt.

I have [etc.]

J. Morton Howell

The British Residency in Egypt to the American Legation


His Majesty’s Government have been approached by the Swiss Government in connection with the following matter.

For some years past the Legation and the Consulates of the United States of America have extended their protection to some fifty Swiss subjects who were formerly registered at the German Consulates in this country.
In the year 1924 the Government of the United States, who it is understood do not permit their representatives abroad to exercise jurisdiction over persons other than their own nationals, expressed to the Swiss Government a desire to be discharged from their obligations towards the Swiss subjects in question. In view of the fact, however, that negotiations were pending between the Swiss and Egyptian Governments with a view to the establishment of Swiss representation in Egypt, the Government of the United States authorised their representatives in Egypt to continue to protect these persons until such time as their interests could be safeguarded by the representatives of the Confederation.
This consent was based on the assumption that the negotiations above referred to would be speedily concluded. Important divergences [Page 970] of opinion between the two Governments have, however, since come to light, and it is therefore unlikely that Swiss representation will be established in Egypt in the near future. Under the circumstances the Swiss Government fear that the United States Government will feel constrained to reconsider their attitude towards these Swiss subjects and they have accordingly enquired whether His Majesty’s Government would be willing to assume their protection.
His Majesty’s Government are disposed favourably to consider this suggestion, but before taking any steps in the matter the Residency would be glad to receive the observations of the Legation of the United States on the subject.