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

No. 186

Sir: The Department refers to your despatch No. 568, dated September 15, 1932, enclosing a copy of a note addressed by you to the Egyptian Ministry for Foreign Affairs in which you call attention to the desirability of a reduction in the high port dues and charges levied on vessels touching at Alexandria.

As a general principle the Department does not consider that such dues and charges afford a basis for representations on behalf of American interests unless there is evidence of discrimination against those interests, such as does not appear to be the case at Alexandria. In this instance, however, since you were merely joining in the action taken by several of your colleagues, since it appears clear that the dues and charges in question are very high, since the level of such [Page 658] dues and charges at American ports is generally considered to be reasonable, and in view of the moderate nature of your note, the Department is of the opinion that it may appropriately approve the action you have taken, and does so. The Department desires, however, that before making any further official representations in this matter, you inform it of the circumstances with your recommendations and request its instructions.

The Department would be interested in learning whether the Egyptian Government derives any financial benefit from the port dues and charges levied at Alexandria.

Very truly yours,

For the Secretary of State:
W. R. Castle, Jr.