The Chargé in Great Britain (Atherton) to the Secretary of State

No. 2395

Sir: I have the honor to refer to the Department’s instruction No. 980 of November 5, 1931,15 with respect to United States representation on the Mixed Courts of Egypt, and to state that, in compliance with the Department’s instruction, an appointment was sought to discuss this question with the Foreign Office, when it was suggested that the question should be taken up directly between the Embassy and Mr. Peterson, head of the Division of Egyptian Affairs.

With the end in view to assuring recognition of the position of the United States and preventing a further departure from the principle of equality of representation, I took occasion to set forth the American attitude at some length. Mr. Peterson said he had at one time been in Egypt with Lord Lloyd and was not wholly unfamiliar with the matter, and added that certain considerations had been urged on the Residency at one time that those nations having a larger population resident in Egypt were entitled to special consideration as to the number of their nationals appointed to the Mixed Courts. I replied I felt certain that such a view would not be acceptable to my Government, and pointed out that strict adherence to the principle of equal representation among the principal capitulatory Powers participating in the Mixed Courts of Egypt had been laid down when the adherence of the United States Government was given to the judicial reform in Egypt in 1876.16 Mr. Peterson agreed to this and stated it was merely an observation from memory he was making, and that he was entirely ready to write to the High Commissioner at Cairo [Page 147] asking how the matter stood and whether it were possible to “earmark” an American representative for the next place to be filled on the Mixed Courts. Mr. Peterson said it was not until the Foreign Office and the Residency at Cairo had had an exchange of views that he could be of much assistance in making any statement in the matter, but that he fully understood the United States position from our conversation and that he would communicate with me again at as early a date as he was able.

Respectfully yours,

Ray Atherton