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

No. 215

Sir: The Department refers to your despatch No. 604 of November 22, 1932,5 with which you enclosed copy in translation of the reply by the Egyptian Foreign Office5 to the proposal of the United States that an extradition treaty be concluded as between the two countries. It appears from this reply that the Egyptian Government takes the position that it would be unable to grant the extradition of persons not amenable to the criminal jurisdiction of Egypt. Since this position, if maintained, would exclude the possibility of extraditing from Egypt American citizens as well as citizens of other capitulatory powers, there would be little advantage to the United States in the concluding of an extradition treaty with Egypt on this basis. However, you suggest a formula for possible insertion in the proposed treaty by which its provisions would [Page 844] be made applicable in Egypt only to persons who are subject to the full criminal jurisdiction of an Egyptian court or an American consular court, or would be so subject if they were found in Egypt.

The Department does not doubt that a formula might be found which should be satisfactory to the Egyptian Government as amounting to a waiver by the United States of its capitulatory rights to the extent indicated, whereby American citizens could be extradited from Egypt. However, it is observed that you are of the opinion that such a waiver by the United States and the resultant hearing by Egyptian courts of extradition cases involving American citizens would establish a dangerous departure from capitulatory practice and be calculated to impair the rights commonly possessed by the capitulatory powers. Accordingly, you recommend that negotiations to conclude an extradition treaty be terminated.

Relying upon your judgment as to the effect which would follow the conclusion of an extradition treaty with Egypt containing provisions giving jurisdiction to the Egyptian courts in cases of American citizens, the Department authorizes you to inform the Egyptian Government that the United States is not disposed to continue its negotiations for the conclusion of an extradition treaty.

As a substitute for extradition process in cases involving American citizens, you point out that there would be no objection, so far as the Egyptian Government is concerned, to action by American consular courts by way of extraditing fugitives from the justice of the United States.

There is no present authority of law under which American consular officers in Egypt would be justified in extraditing American citizens to the United States or elsewhere. However, the Department has requested the Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the House of Representatives to introduce a bill providing in Section 1 for the return as between the United States, its territories, districts and possessions on one hand and the jurisdiction of officers or representatives of the United States vested with judicial authority in the countries where the United States exercises extraterritorial jurisdiction of American citizens or nationals who are charged with crimes against the United States and providing in Section 2 for the return to a State, territory, district or possession of the United States from a jurisdiction exercised by the United States abroad of fugitives charged with a crime against the laws of such State, territory, district or possession.6

Very truly yours,

For the Secretary of State:
William Phillips
  1. Not printed.
  2. Not printed.
  3. Bill approved March 22, 1934; 48 Stat. 454.