611.8331/38: Telegram

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

49. Your 29, April 21, noon.

In the course of preliminary conversation with Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs and an assistant they stressed the difficulty of accepting preferred alternative first quoted sentence of your paragraph (f) in view of article 6 of the law of February 15. See Official Journal number 16, February 15, providing that duration of provisional commercial agreements cannot extend for more than one year from application of new tariff. This law defines the Government’s powers when concluding such agreements. The impression was left with me that they would wish the substitute draft quoted in your paragraph 3 providing for 90 days’ notice of termination; it was added that should we desire brief directions period 1 or 2 months could be substituted.
Your paragraph number 2. With reference to your remarks concerning ratification, it was stated that under article 6 of the law there is no necessity for submission of accord to Parliament in the event that our constitutional practice does not require ratification; it would appear that all mention of ratification may be omitted, e. g., Austrian agreement published Official Journal number 30, of March 31; French, Dutch and Japanese agreements15 similarly omit such reference.
Your paragraph (c). The point was made that the Egyptian Government is bound by article 2 of law to use the word “temporarily” and that its use was merely intended [to] indicate that the treatment would be conterminous to the temporary nature of existing legislation.
[Paraphrase.] The Egyptian authorities interviewed made no mention of the second quoted sentence of your paragraph (f), but [Page 748] may I respectfully invite attention regarding this sentence to the possible disadvantage should the American legislature impose a duty upon long-staple cotton and should the Egyptian Parliament pass the bill mentioned in my 43, April 18,16 which would, it is generally believed, render agreement inoperative, subjecting Americans to higher rates of duty without any period of grace. [End paraphrase.]
Your paragraphs (d) and (e). The Acting Minister said that he would take up with the Ministry of Finance the clauses relating commerce with Cuba, et cetera.
[Paraphrase.] We concluded the conversation with the understanding that the matter would be discussed further in a few days. Your further instructions will be appreciated. Should you attach especial importance to my obtaining the first-mentioned alternative of paragraph (f), may I suggest the use of the confidential code for this part at least of the further instruction. [End paraphrase.]
  1. See exchange of notes constituting a provisional commercial agreement with Austria, League of Nations Treaty Series, vol. c, p. 417; with the Netherlands, ibid., vol. cv, p. 91; with Japan, ibid., vol. cxi, p. 223; with France, British and Foreign State Papers, vol. cxxxiii, pt. II, p. 2.
  2. Not printed.