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

No. 243

Sir: The Department refers to the following declaration made in the letter which you, as President of the Delegation of the United States of America at the Conference for the Revision of the Capitulatory Regime in Egypt, addressed on May 8, 1937, to His Excellency Moustapha El Nahas Pasha, President of the Council of Ministers of Egypt:

“The Government of the United States declares that pending the ratification on its part of the Convention signed this day it will suspend the extraterritorial jurisdiction of its consular and diplomatic officers in Egypt over American nationals and corporations to the same extent that, and at the same time and under the same conditions as, the other Capitulatory Powers agree to abridge or suspend the extraterritorial jurisdiction in Egypt of their consular and diplomatic officers over their nationals and corporations.”57

The Department assumes that in accordance with the quoted declaration the authority conferred upon American consular officers in extraterritorial countries by the Act of Congress of March 22, 1934,58 to extradite to the United States fugitives from its justice will be suspended, insofar as Egypt is concerned, as of October 15, 1937. This being so, it becomes desirable to conclude an extradition treaty between the two countries at an early date, and therefore the Department desires you to institute negotiations to this end, using as a basis therefor the draft of such a treaty which was sent to your Legation in the Department’s instruction of June 4, 1931.59

The direction for the resumption of negotiations is predicated upon the assumption that you will share the Department’s view that the following statement contained in Section 5 of the Declaration by the Royal Egyptian Government60 made at the Conference mentioned does not require incorporation in the proposed treaty, and that no reference thereto need be made in the treaty, since the statement merely relates to a matter of procedure dealing with matters of extradition in Egypt involving a foreigner charged with being a fugitive from justice: [Page 673]

“In conformity with the practice generally adopted in regard to extradition, the Royal Egyptian Government intends to adopt judicial procedure in this matter. It will therefore be necessary for the Mixed Tribunal to pronounce upon the regularity of the request for extradition when such request relates to a foreigner within the jurisdiction of the said Tribunal.”

Should you be of the opinion that the quoted language of the Declaration should be incorporated in the treaty or referred to therein you will please so inform the Department before beginning negotiations, stating your grounds for such opinion.

Very truly yours,

For the Secretary of State:
R. Walton Moore
  1. For text of letter, see p. 654.
  2. 48 Stat. 454.
  3. Foreign Relations, 1933, vol. ii, p. 841.
  4. May 8, 1937; for text, see Department of State Treaty Series No. 939, p. 65, or 53 Stat. 1701.