765.84/2653½: Telegram

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

86. The form which economic sanctions by Egypt against Italy is to take is expected to be announced within a week or 10 days following the study now being made by a committee appointed for that purpose. I am informed confidentially that Great Britain has given the Egyptian Government assurances safeguarding the latter against being “annoyed” by Italy when economic sanctions are applied. It is possible that the sanctions to be applied by Egypt may extend within the framework of those proposed by the League further than was at first envisaged locally and may affect capitulary rights of powers other than Italy. In view of such a possible eventuality I think it wise to invite the Department’s attention to the possible effect upon the capitulary rights of American citizens in Egypt of the announcement of the President warning American citizens that transactions engaged in with either of the belligerents is undertaken at their own risk. It appears to me that this announcement of both countries might justify the Department in authorizing American diplomatic and consular officers in Egypt to refrain from asserting capitulary rights on behalf of American citizens in Egypt engaging in trade with Italy or Ethiopia should such rights be temporarily called in question by the application on the part of Egypt of economic sanctions against Italy.