The Secretary of State to the Chargé in Egypt (Johnson)

No. 276

Sir: Referring to the Legation’s despatch No. 745 of January 18, 1926, in the matter of the representation of Swiss interests in Egypt, the Department encloses for your information and guidance a copy of a despatch, No. 883 of June 5, 1926,13 received from the Legation at Berne enclosing a copy and translation of a note received from the Federal Political Bureau setting forth the steps taken by the Swiss Government with a view to relieving American officials in Egypt of the representation of such Swiss interests as are now under their protection.

It is desired that the Legation inform the three consular offices in Egypt of the action taken by the Swiss Government and report whether any Swiss property is in the possession of your mission or of the consulates in Egypt. It should be added that any correspondence [Page 971] or documents relating to Swiss interests which form a part of the Legation’s or Consulates’ official records or archives, are not considered as Swiss property.

I am [etc.]

For the Secretary of State:
Joseph C. Grew

The Swiss Federal Political Department to the American Legation

By note No. 38, of October 9, 1924,14 the Legation of the United States of America was good enough to inform the Federal Political Department that the diplomatic and consular representatives of the United States in Egypt would be authorized to continue to take care of the interests of the Swiss citizens who find themselves under their protection since 1914, until the time, which then appeared to be near, when these interests could be protected by the agents of the Confederation. In taking cognizance, by note of October 27, 1924, of this kind notification, the Department promised to inform the Legation, at the proper time, of the result of the conferences between the Governments of Switzerland and Egypt with a view to organizing an official representation of Switzerland and Egypt.

In conformity with this promise, the Political Department has the honor to notify the Legation of the United States that the negotiations which have taken place between Switzerland and Egypt with a view to determining the legal status of the citizens of one of the two States within the territory of the other have ended in no agreement, so that the Government of the Confederation has no intention, for the moment, of sending diplomatic and consular representatives to Egypt, and finds itself obliged temporarily to leave its citizens in Egypt under the protection of friendly powers enjoying, in the Kingdom of Egypt, the rights of capitulation.

As it is impossible to estimate the duration of this temporary modus vivendi, the Swiss Government has taken steps with a view to relieving, in conformity with the request of the American Government, the diplomatic and consular representatives of the United States in Egypt of the protection of the Swiss registered with them. The latter will be invited to register, at their choice, with the diplomatic and consular representatives of Great Britain and Italy in Egypt.

The Department would be grateful to the Legation of the United States to be kind enough to bring the above to the attention of its [Page 972] Government and to convey on behalf of the Federal Council the sentiments of its keen gratitude for the service which the Government of the United States so obligingly rendered in efficiently protecting, for twelve years, a certain number of Swiss established in Egypt.

The Department avails itself of this opportunity to renew to the Legation the assurance of its high consideration.

  1. Despatch No. 883 not printed.
  2. Not printed; see Department’s instruction No. 60, Sept. 10, 1924, Foreign Relations, 1924, vol. ii, p. 707.