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

No. 69

Sir: I have the honor to refer to my telegram No. 44 of even date reporting the receipt of and commenting briefly on an identic Note addressed under date of October 28th, 1928, by the Minister for Foreign Affairs to the representatives in Egypt of the capitulatory powers reopening the general subject of the modification of the capitulatory regime as effective in this country and requesting, in particular, that the limited proposals in this sense made by the Egyptian Government in its Note of December 25th, 1927, be recalled to the attention of the Governments of the interested powers.

A copy of the identic Note as addressed to this Legation, together with a translation thereof, is submitted herewith.

The Legation will, of course, follow this matter closely and report fully to the Department.

I have [etc.]

Franklin Mott Gunther

The Egyptian Minister for Foreign Affairs (Afifi) to the American Minister (Gunther)

No. 32–10/6 23 R

Mr. Minister: By letter of December 25th, 1927,19 my predecessor had the honor to draw the attention of the American Chargé d’Affaires to the hindrance which the capitulatory regime presents to the Egyptian State in matters of legislation, taxation, and jurisdiction, and to the desire of the Egyptian Government to see substituted for this regime an organization which, while adopting the measures [Page 768] necessary to the protection of foreign interests, should be in harmony with modern ideas and more compatible with the sovereignty of the country, its interests, its evolution and its progress.

Solicitous of the vital interests of the country, the Government of His Majesty is constantly preoccupied with this revision and hopes soon to be in a position to discuss its projects with you with a view to arriving at an agreement or agreements with the powers on this subject.

In the meantime, the Government of His Majesty desires to arrive at a prompt realization of those reforms set forth in the aforesaid letter of this Ministry and which deal with the modification of article 12 of the Mixed Civil Code as well as with certain dispositions of the organic statute (Règlement d’Organisation Judiciaire) of the Mixed Courts.

The proposed modification to article 12 of the Mixed Civil Code has as its object the harmonizing of this article with the provisions of article 35 of the Egyptian Constitution. It is true that in the present circumstances this reform no longer retains the same urgent character; but the Egyptian Government desires nevertheless to bring it to fulfillment, considering that the suspension of Parliament is provisional.

As to the other projects which have as their object the facilitating of the repression of crime (infractions criminelles) and the furtherance of justice, the Government of His Majesty is persuaded that they will be readily recognized as being in the general interest and that they cannot but be favorably received by the interested powers.

It is with this hope that I have the honor to resort to Your Excellency’s good offices in begging Your Excellency to have the kindness to recall this question to the attention of the Government of the United States.

I take [etc.]

H. Afifi
  1. File translation revised.
  2. Ante, p. 747.