783.003/185: Telegram

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

26. Department’s telegram No. 21, March 8, 5 p.m. The Minister for Foreign Affairs assured me this morning that:

English and French will be official languages of the conference.
Arrangements are being made by Egypt to obtain efficient interpreters from the League of Nations and,
The presiding officer has not been chosen but will be agreed upon before the Egyptian delegation leaves Egypt and will probably be a delegate from one of the lesser Capitulatory Powers. The Foreign Minister indicated that the presiding officer would not be Italian, French, British or Egyptian. Besly14 states that even if objections were raised to English as an authoritative language of the treaties to be signed the British “cannot give in on this point”.

One of the principal discussions at the conference will probably center around the charter of the Mixed Courts, a draft revision of which will be submitted in French to the conference at an early meeting and can probably be translated in half a day.

  1. Legal Adviser to the British Embassy in Egypt.