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

No. 307

Sir: With reference to the Legation’s despatch No. 588 of February 7, 1925,25 and to other correspondence concerning the desire of the Government of the United States to be represented on the International Quarantine Board at Alexandria, Egypt, it may be stated for your information that on October 8, 1925, the Department indicated to the French Government26 its desire that a place be given for this subject on the agenda of the International Conference held in Paris in May, 1926, for the purpose of revising the International Sanitary Convention of January 17, 1912.27 The Department also instructed the delegates of the United States to the Conference28 to make known in an appropriate manner the importance which this Government attached to such representation and to its recognition by the revised International Sanitary Convention. It was indicated that this Government desired such representation in order to be in a position to protect its growing shipping interests and the public health of the United States.

In accordance with the Department’s instructions, the American representatives took up this matter at the Conference. It is understood that the Conference decided that this Government should take up this question directly with the Egyptian Government and that the Egyptian Delegation to the Conference expressed its interest in the matter of American representation on the Quarantine Board and requested that this Government approach the Egyptian Government directly on the subject.

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You are accordingly instructed to communicate with the American Consuls in Egypt with a view to obtaining from them information regarding the amount of shipping between the United States and Egypt and the amount of shipping which passes through the Suez Canal bound for the United States. You should also endeavor to obtain information regarding the number of American tourists who annually visit Egypt or countries beyond the Suez Canal or adjacent thereto. After obtaining the information indicated you should bring this matter to the attention of the appropriate Egyptian authorities indicating the vital interest of the United States in the administration of the maritime quarantine as a protection not only to its growing shipping interests but also to the public health in the United States against diseases which may be carried to its ports by vessels from the Near East. You should support your statement by figures obtained from the American consular officers in Egypt concerning the shipping and tourist traffic and you should express the hope that in view of the facts you have presented the Egyptian Government may find it convenient to grant to the Government of the United States the privilege of being represented on the International Quarantine Board at Alexandria.

You should take no steps to make any appointment nor should you suggest to the Egyptian Government any candidate for the position except under instructions from the Department.

I am [etc.]

For the Secretary of State:
Leland Harrison
  1. Not printed.
  2. Foreign Relations, 1926, vol. i, p. 175.
  3. Malloy, Treaties, 1910–1923, vol. iii, p. 2972.
  4. Instructions not printed.