The Chief of the Division of Near Eastern Affairs (Murray) to The Chargé in Egypt (Morris)

Dear Leland: I have read with much interest your letter of December 8, 1937, enclosing a memorandum of a conversation between Mr. Allen and Bedaoui Pasha, of the Egyptian State Legal Department, concerning the negotiation of a consular convention between the United States and Egypt.

There is nothing to be found in the Acts of the Capitulations Conference (a copy of which is no doubt available to you) which would support the view that the Egyptian Government is under any obligation, under the terms of the Capitulations Convention, to negotiate consular conventions with interested Powers. Moreover, I agree with you that there is nothing in the specific provisions of Article 11 of the Convention which binds Egypt in that respect.

From the mention of consular conventions in Article 11 it may be reasonably concluded, however, that Egypt is not averse to the negotiation of consular conventions in conformity with international practice.

In view of Bedaoui Pasha’s expressed attitude on the subject and in consideration of the natural susceptibilities of the Egyptian authorities generally to anything suggestive of a derogation of their sovereign rights, I see no reason why we should not approach the Egyptian Government in the matter of the negotiation of a consular convention, when the appropriate moment arrives, in the same manner in which we would approach any other government without any reference to the Capitulations Convention.

Meanwhile we shall be awaiting with interest the receipt of your formal views on the possible desirability of proposing at an early date the negotiation of such a convention.55

Sincerely yours,

Wallace Murray
  1. See despatch No. 1156, December 23, supra. Apparently no further action was taken regarding the proposed convention.