765.84/2343: Telegram

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

90. In an informal conversation this morning with Booth, British Judicial Advisor to Egypt, he stated that both he and the British Government were now tending to revise the opinion hitherto held that the prohibition of either imports from or exports to Italy killed the [Page 590] capitulations. He expressed the view that beginning with the French Capitulary Treaty with Turkey of 174029 there was an expressed right of Turkey, and consequently Egypt now has the right, to prohibit exports while the right to prohibit imports seemed to him more clearly established juridically. If that view were adopted he said there would be only involved the violation by Egypt of the most favored nation clause with Italy. It was the view of the British Government, and he shared it, that in the preamble to legislation prohibiting imports from and certain exports to Italy there should be invoked the high moral obligation of Egypt to associate itself with League sanctions under present circumstances as well as its obligations as a signatory of the Kellogg Pact. The question of firmer sanctions he regarded as far more difficult and perhaps even impossible of realization by Egypt owing to the capitulations. He added that there remained to be worked out with the Egyptian Government the character and degree of mutual assistance to be accorded by Great Britain upon the application of the sanctions. From other reliable British sources I learn that the protest of the Italian Minister as reported in my telegram No. 89, November 4, 6 p.m.30 was anticipated but will not deter Egypt from the course announced by the Prime Minister. Booth states that the decision of the Egyptian Government regarding the character of sanctions will most probably be made before November 18th.

  1. François E. G. Saint Priest, Mémoires sur l’ambassade de France en Turquie et le commerce des Français dans le Levant, p. 475.
  2. Not printed.