The Minister in Egypt (Jardine) to the Secretary of State
[Received July 16.]
Sir: I have the honor to transmit herewith a copy of a communication dated June 12, 1932, addressed to me at my request by Justice Jasper Y. Brinton,11 containing an examination of the situation as regards British representation in the legislative activities of the Mixed Court of Appeals created by the presence of three British justices on the bench of that Court.[Page 625]
With the retirement of Sir Ralph Cator, President of the Mixed Court of Appeals, on November 1, 1932, as reported in my despatch No. 498 of June 1, 1932,12 and in the event of the vacancy thus created being filled by a British justice, the question is likely to arise, as Justice Brinton has pointed out, as to the nature of the limitations to be imposed on such a third British justice in legislative matters.
I understand that Judge John S. Blake-Reed, British member of the Cairo Mixed Court of First Instance, has been nominated to fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Justice Sir Ralph Cator. In the event of the actual appointment of Judge Blake-Reed, it is possible as Justice Brinton suggests, that the British Government “may endeavor to establish a right to be represented by all three British judges” in the Legislative Assembly of the Mixed Court of Appeals, as well as the perpetuation of the privilege of three British justices to participate in the proceedings of the General Assembly of the Court. As the Department is aware, inclusive of Sir Ralph Cator, there are at present three British justices on the Mixed Court of Appeals, namely Justices Cator, Vaux and McBarnett, and four British judges on the Mixed Court of First Instance, namely, Judges Preston, Blake-Reed, Graham and Barne.
In view of the recently expressed views of my Belgian, French and Italian colleagues, I am of the opinion that not only would their Governments be disposed to contest any claim of Great Britain to be represented by three justices in the proceedings of the Legislative Assembly of the Mixed Court of Appeals, but that the Governments in question may consider it appropriate to raise the question of the plural character of British representation in the General Assembly of the Mixed Court of Appeals, if not indeed the broader issue of the plural British representation on the Mixed Court of Appeals itself or the preponderant British representation on the Mixed Courts generally.
While, in the light of the Department’s instruction No. 108 of October 25 , 1931,13 and of my conversations with the High Commissioner, as reported to the Department in my despatches Nos. 368 and 414 of December 23, 1931 and February 24, 1932,14 we are estopped from raising the question of the present preponderant British representation, I do not consider that we are bound in any respect to admit any right which might be claimed by Great Britain to be represented on either the General or Legislative Assembly of the Mixed Court of Appeals by three British justices, nor that we may be considered as estopped from questioning such a right.[Page 626]
I have considered it desirable to present the foregoing facts to the Department in the belief that the Department might deem it appropriate to instruct me as to its views which I might communicate informally to Justice Brinton and on the basis of which I might guide myself in any informal conversations on the subject which I might have occasion to have with my interested colleagues.