611.8331/26: Telegram

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

23. My 22, February 7, 7 p.m. I am just in receipt of an official note from the Minister of Foreign Affairs dated February 10. A translation of the pertinent portions thereof are quoted herewith:

“I have the honor to inform Your Excellency that the Egyptian Government has decided to put into force, from February 17, 1930, to replace the tariff at present applicable by virtue of the protocol of November 16, 1884, denounced as regards the United States of America on February 14, 1929, a new customs tariff the proposed draft of which was published on December 17, 1929. This is a minimum tariff; it will therefore constitute the most favorable regime [, by reciprocity,] which may be granted to goods originating in foreign countries which have concluded customs conventions with Egypt. With respect to the goods of the other countries or imported through them, these will pay a surtax equal to the amount of duty provided [Page 743] for by the tariff.” (See despatch number 145, of February 20, 1929,8 for Egyptian Government and [sic] note above referred to.)

“The Egyptian Government is willing to conclude with the American Government a temporary agreement, stipulating reciprocal granting of most-favored-nation treatment.

In order to show its willingness and to facilitate negotiations in this matter, the Egyptian Government will ask Parliament to authorize, during the first year of the application of the new tariff, temporary exemptions of the surtax provided for with respect to goods from countries which have no conventions with Egypt.

I should be obliged, Mr. Minister, if you would be good enough to transmit this communication to your Government and let me know what decision it has deemed fit to make in regard thereto.”