The Chief of the Division of Near Eastern Affairs (Murray) to the Under Secretary of State (Phillips)
Dear Mr. Phillips: In connection with your conversation this morning with the Egyptian Minister I think the following observations may be in order.
The recent note from the Egyptian Government, referred to by the Minister, has in fact been received through our Legation in Cairo and will be replied to in due time after we are in receipt of certain confidential comments thereon which Judge Brinton, one of our senior judges on the Mixed Court of Appeals, is preparing for our information.
As regards the matter of the use of the Arabic language in the courts, I may say that the court statutes do in fact permit the use of that language as well as French, English and Italian. However, by long usage it has been agreed that the cases shall be conducted and decisions rendered in French. This agreement was arrived at among the judges themselves and has nothing to do whatever with this Government. Since the Egyptians already have the right in principle to use the Arabic language it is up to them to persuade the foreign judges to use that language, which of course for practical purposes is out of the question. In any case, we have no authority over such administrative matters in the Egyptian mixed courts, and this can of course in due time be pointed out to the Egyptians in a polite manner.