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

No. 287

Sir: The Department has received your despatch no. 1119 of November 15, 1937 in relation to an interview regarding the negotiations for the conclusion of an extradition treaty between the United States and Egypt had by Third Secretary Allen, of your Legation, with the Legal Adviser to the President of the Council of Ministers.

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It appears from Mr. Allen’s memorandum of this interview that a statement in writing will be forthcoming at a later date regarding the views of the Egyptian Government upon the draft of such a treaty which was submitted by the United States.65 In the meanwhile, for the information of the Legation and as bearing upon points raised in the interview, the Department advises you that all of the extradition treaties negotiated by the United States, whether or not of a recent date, contain a list of extraditable offenses. For the sake of definiteness and since the penal provisions in force in different countries often provide penalties of a character which vary from country to country, this Government would not desire to enter into a treaty of extradition which merely provided that there should be surrender for offenses the penalty for the commission of which would be a certain term of imprisonment.

So far as concerns the exemption contained in the American draft from the non-liability to surrender in the case of political offenses, it may be observed that such provision is in accord with the usual provision contained in treaties of the United States. However, the Department would give careful consideration to any provision on this point which might be suggested by the Egyptian Government.

The Department would have no serious objection to compliance with the apparent desire of the Egyptian Government that it be provided in the treaty that there should be no obligation to extradite after the statute of limitations in regard to the particular offense had run in the requested country.

Mr. Allen was correct in his suggestion that the term “commitment” contained in Article 7 of the American draft does not refer to the commitment of the crime, but to the commitment of the prisoner by the extradition magistrate to the custody of a marshal or jailer following the provisional arrest of the fugitive.

Very truly yours,

For the Secretary of State:
R. Walton Moore
  1. No record of a reply by the Egyptian Government has been found in Department files. Apparently the project was dropped.