611.8331/39: Telegram

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


52. Your 32, May 1, 6 p.m. I have made every effort to obtain Egyptian acceptance of the provision whereby the agreement would remain in force pending the conclusion of a definitive treaty. However, the Acting Minister for Foreign Affairs, while he admits that the [Page 751] safeguards as provided in your wording are adequate, nevertheless maintains that the Egyptian Government under the law of February 15 (mentioned in my 49, April 25, 5 p.m.) is without authority to employ your formula. The Government has not done this in any of the 15 agreements hitherto reached, which have all been on the basis of providing 3 months’ notice or less. The Minister observed also that departing from the practice thus far followed would lead to protests. To me he stated that the provisional agreements will be allowed to run over in the cases of all countries which do not conclude definitive treaties by next February 17. When I pointed out that this would also appear to be a departure from the law, he responded by saying that it would be more feasible next winter to obtain from Parliament the necessary special authorization.

The Finance Ministry’s definite concurrence with the other details of your text has not as yet been obtained by the Acting Minister for Foreign Affairs. He has intimated that, in order to obtain a reference at the beginning of the agreement to my note dated February 16, we would have to consent to a reference also to all other correspondence on the subject.

From his attitude and his repeated inquiries as to cotton, I gather there is a disposition to put off concluding the modus vivendi until the American tariff bill is passed. May I furnish the Egyptian authorities with the text of the statistics and the substance of the memorandum enclosed in the Department’s instruction No. 106 of April 11,19 but deleting the least propitious parts of the memorandum?

Since in any case it does not appear likely that the provisional agreement can be concluded until after the holiday ending May 13, there is still time if you wish to instruct me further.

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