611.8331/18: Telegram

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

12. Your despatch 313, January 4,5 and telegrams 18, January 30, 6 p.m., and 19, January 31, 5 p.m.6

[Paraphrase.] At least for the present, the Department does not desire the question of the possible validity of the Customs Convention of November 16, 1884, between the United States and Egypt,7 to be raised. [End paraphrase.]

With this in mind do you perceive any objection to informing the Egyptian Government before February 16 somewhat as follows?

“The Government of the United States, while making full reservations with regard to all points that may affect the capitulatory régime, is prepared to consent to the application to American commerce of the import duties provided for in the draft customs law which the Egyptian Government proposes to bring into force as of February 17, 1930. This consent is to be given, however, with the understanding that the Egyptian Government will agree to conclude at an early date a modus vivendi according mutual unconditional most favored nation treatment in customs matters for any period that may elapse before a new commercial convention can be brought into force.”

It would of course be understood that under the most favored nation provisions of such a modus vivendi the first paragraph of Article 3 of the Egyptian draft law would not apply to the commerce of the United States.

Please telegraph your comments.

  1. Not printed.
  2. Telegram No. 19 not printed.
  3. Malloy, Treaties, 1776–1900, vol. i, p. 442.