The Chargé in Egypt (Winship) to the Secretary of State

No. 261

Sir: I have the honor to report that a Sanitary Conference was held last month at Port Sudan looking to the extension of the organization of the Regional Bureau of Sanitary Information for the International Quarantine Board at Alexandria.

This Conference was attended by delegates from the Governments of French Somaliland, Italian Somaliland, the Sudan and Egypt.

Aside from the question of rapid transmission to the Bureau at Alexandria of all information concerning epidemics, the Conference [Page 776] examined proposals for the organization of short voyages for the pilgrims in the Red Sea district, the Quarantine Council having been charged with the establishment of regulations governing these voyages. The definition given to “short voyages” was those of less than twenty-four hours, such as the voyage between Souakin and Djeddah, or between Yembo and Djeddah. It was decided to prohibit the use of sail boats for these voyages.

Pourparlers were entered into with the chief medical officer of the Government of the Hedjaz, and steps will be taken through the Egyptian Ministry for Foreign Affairs looking to the participation of the Hedjaz in the Regional Bureau at Alexandria in order that it may easily obtain information regarding epidemics in Arabia.

In the meantime it is understood that Major Thomson of the Alexandria Quarantine Board has made arrangements with the Egyptian, English, and Dutch Consuls at Djeddah, as well as with the doctors who accompany the pilgrims, to furnish the Bureau with telegraphic advice regarding the health condition of the pilgrims.

In this connection, the Legation is still pressing for the admission of an American representative on the International Quarantine Board at Alexandria, and delay is apparently due to the demoralization and confusion in the Ministry of the Interior since the return of Sarwat Pasha from Europe last Summer, as very little has been accomplished owing to the failure of the conversations in London, the Ministerial crisis, the change of Government, and the heated discussions over the Assemblies Law. It will be remembered that the Prime Minister of Egypt in the previous, as well as the present Cabinet, was also Minister of the Interior. As reported, I have the assurance of the present Prime Minister that the matter will receive sympathetic consideration and attention as soon as possible.

I have [etc.]

North Winship