765.84/2250: Telegram

The Chargé in Egypt (Childs) to the Secretary of State

84. I have learned very confidentially that the contingency has been considered by the British of the possible unilateral denunciation of [Page 586] the capitulations by Egypt with British acquiescence. From informal conversations with Residency and British legal advisers in the Egyptian Government I understand that such action unlikely to be adopted out of a desire to avoid antagonizing France and in the belief that the time is inopportune in that Great Britain might be charged with having permitted Egypt to undertake a measure in the mutual interests of both countries at the expense of the interests of other countries including in particular the United States. Short of hostilities the British appear at present disinclined even to support the suspension of capitulations by Egypt. British advisers now believe that economic sanctions by Egypt may be applied without affecting the capitulary rights of powers other than Italy and they are endeavoring to find a means which will devolve [sic] least Italian capitulary rights while proving effective. Among the measures now being considered are the suspension of imports from Italy and the imposition of restrictions upon Italian vessels calling at Egyptian ports.