883.05/281: Telegram

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

44. I am forwarding to you by pouch leaving today a copy of an identic note addressed by the Minister for Foreign Affairs to the representative[s] of the capitulatory powers17 reopening the general subject of capitulations and having specific reference to the note of December 25, 1927, forwarded to you under cover of despatch number 150 of December 30th, 1927.

The note now received states that it is in the nature of a preliminary to the submission to the powers concerned of plans for the revision of the capitulatory regime as it affects legislation, taxation and jurisdiction; that meanwhile the Egyptian Government hopes that the powers will cooperate with it in securing the prompt realization of the several reforms outlined in the note of December 25th last comprising the modification of article 12 of the Mixed Civil Code as well as of certain features of the Règlement d’Organisation of the Mixed Courts.

In the belief that it would be of interest to the Department to know the attitude of other missions I have inquired among my colleagues and find that the dean of the diplomatic corps, following instructions given him by the French Government when the subject was last under consideration, has prepared a note in reply which he has asked by telegraph now to be authorized to present on behalf of his own Government only. His note states that in principle the French Government is disposed to give favorable consideration but invites the attention of the Egyptian Government to the necessity [Page 767] first of all of drawing up a code of criminal and civil procedure and of providing prison facilities suitable to foreigners. The note will also state that the French Government sees no necessity for an international commission to discuss this matter which can be arranged as well directly between governments and invites attention to the necessity of creating new judges in order to handle the additional work.

It is expected that Lord Lloyd, the British High Commissioner, who is due to return from leave before the end of next week will bring with him the views of the British Government. I shall take first opportunity of discussing matter with him.

  1. Note dated Oct. 28, 1928, p. 767.