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

No. 793

Sir: Adverting to my telegram No. 12, of April 9, 11 a.m., and apropos of same, I have the honor to herewith enclose a copy of a note which I sent to the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, in which I called attention to the agreement entered into between the Egyptian Government and the Great Powers when the Mixed Courts were established, as it applied to the representation of each in the Courts.

I have found the appointment was about to be made, indeed, it was said likely to be announced any moment, and I desired at least in advance of the appointment to let them know that we are taking note of the proposal in question and recognize it as out of conformity with the agreement.

I have [etc.]

J. Morton Howell
[Page 556]

The American Minister (Howell) to the Egyptian Minister for Foreign Affairs (Ziwar)

No. 339

Excellency: I have the honor to refer to the changes that have recently taken place in the appointment of advisers to the various Ministries. It is noted among these changes that Judge Booth, a British subject, has been appointed Adviser to the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, making vacant the place which he has hitherto held as Judge of the Mixed Court of Cairo. I am creditably informed that it is proposed to fill the vacancy thus caused in the Mixed Court by the appointment of Judge Booth to the position above noted, by another Britisher. I respectfully desire to call Your Excellency’s attention to the fact that this would seem to be out of conformity with the agreement entered into between the Great Powers and the Egyptian Government when these courts were established. You will permit me to call Your Excellency’s attention to the letter of Her Britannic Majesty’s representative in Constantinople at the time the Courts were established, Sir Henry Elliot, the pertinent points of which, touching upon this subject, read as follows:2

“The question which was raised respecting the nationality of the judges to be named for the new tribunals received the attention it deserved from Her Majesty’s Government who concur in the view of the Khedive as to the importance of avoiding giving any preponderance to one nationality over another in the selection of the judges either in constituting the tribunal or in supplying the vacancies that may from time to time occur among them.

“The point was held to be so essential, not only for the interests of British litigants, but also to secure the new tribunals from any suspicion of partiality, that, to prevent any question of the kind from hereafter arising Her Majesty’s Government have instructed me to intimate that their final acceptance was dependent upon the maintenance of this principle.”

I raise this question now that Your Excellency may be apprised of our taking note of the fact that such action is recognized as out of conformity with the agreement above mentioned.

I seize this opportunity [etc.]

J. Morton Howell