The Chargé in Egypt ( Winship ) to the Secretary of State
[Received October 21.]
Sir: I have the honor to refer to Despatch No. 1008, dated May 20,18 and No. 1018, of June 8, 1927, on the Egyptian Mixed Courts, as well as the Memorandum drawn up by me while at the Department on May 3rd,18 and to report as follows:
The agitation for the removal of the Mixed Court of Appeals from Alexandria to Cairo has, in the face of other more pressing and serious political questions been shelved, at least for the present. This is also true of the “Proposals looking to the amendment of the organic law of the Mixed Courts”, which included a clause giving the Government the right to fix the domicile of the Court of Appeals.
The pressure of work on the Court of Appeals, complained of by [Page 568] the Court two years ago, continues, and although a Chamber of five new judges could have been formed and added to the Court of Appeals now consisting of three Chambers of five judges each, this was opposed and a new Chamber of only three judges was proposed. For this departure the consent of the Powers was required and as shown, the request was embodied in the general amendment scheme which has been shelved for political reasons.
The Government, however, has the power, I am informed, to appoint additional judges to the Court of Appeals, and is not in favor of segregating the request for the creation of the new Chamber of three from the other proposals.
The stagnation in the Court of Appeals is so great that it is now believed that the Government will, if the political situation settles down, appoint two new Judges to the Court of Appeals: a native and a foreigner. These would be supernumerary Judges, to fill in and sit with either of the three Chambers when a Judge is ill or absent and to collaborate.
This proposal brings the names of Houriet, a Swiss to the fore as he is the senior Judge of First Instance in Egypt.
Next in line is Judge Molostvoff, a Russian, and the third in seniority is Judge Crabitès, the American Judge. The latter is, therefore, the senior Judge of First Instance of a Capitulatory country and while a non-Capitulatory Judge might be appointed to the Court of Appeals, Judge Crabitès has brought the point, above mentioned, to the attention of the Legation. If a non-Capitulatory Judge is named, I am informed, it will create a precedent and it would seem possible, therefore, that the Egyptian Government might adhere to the precedent already established and retain the Court of Appeals for judges of Capitulatory Powers.
With regard to the question of equal representation on the Mixed Courts, the Government is most anxious for independence of action, and a larger and more important Egyptian representation. I enclose herewith a memorandum of a conversation which took place on March 28, 1927, between Minister Howell and Saroit Pasha, then Minister for Foreign Affairs, which was apparently not forwarded with Despatch No. 980. The Egyptian Government has not replied or in any way referred to the above mentioned conversation or representations and I shall await instructions from the Department before taking any steps in this matter or in the point raised by Judge Crabitès.
I have [etc.]