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

No. 2119

Sir: I have the honor to refer to the Legation’s telegram no. 63 of May 8, 4 p.m., 1940, and the Department’s telegraphic reply no. 34 of May 17, 7 p.m., regarding exemption from payment of customs duty by American consular officers in Egypt following the termination of the three-year period specified in the third paragraph of Article 11 of the Montreux Convention, and to enclose a copy of a note on this subject addressed to the Egyptian Minister of Foreign Affairs on May 29, 1940.

Following the delivery of the Legation’s note I have had several conversations with the Chief of Protocol of the Egyptian Foreign Office regarding this matter and he has assured me that appropriate orders will be issued without delay restoring customs franchise to American consular officers to whom such exemption was accorded before May 8, 1940. Thus far, however, the Legation has not been furnished a definite reply in respect of the number limitation on consular officers entitled to such exemption. However, this question is somewhat academic for the moment in as much as at neither Alexandria nor Port Said, the only American consular establishments in Egypt outside the combined office at Cairo, does the personnel exceed the limitation hitherto imposed.

As regards the case of Cairo, reference is made to the Legation’s despatch no. 2118 of this date entitled “Dual Commissions for Foreign Service Officers in Cairo”57 in which the matter of the exemption from payment of customs duty by officers at this post was discussed.

Respectfully yours,

Raymond A. Hare
[Page 518]

The American Chargé (Hare) to the Egyptian Minister for Foreign Affairs (Aly Maher Pasha)

No. 774

Excellency: I have the honor to refer to Your Excellency’s note No. 28/76/7 (16 Cir.) received by the Legation on May 6, 1940,58 in which you referred to the draft consular convention submitted by the American Government to the Egyptian Government under cover of the Legation’s note of October 21, 193959 and transmitted for the consideration of the American Government a printed draft consular convention prepared by the Royal Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

In confirmation of my conversation on May 6 with His Excellency Mohamed Sharara Pasha, Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, I may say that a copy of the draft convention prepared by the Royal Ministry together with a copy of its note under reference was promptly transmitted to the Department of State at Washington. The Legation was gratified to note that it was the opinion of the Royal Ministry that the draft conventions prepared by our respective governments were inspired by the same principles and that there was no fundamental conflict between them, particularly as concerned Paragraph 3 of Article 11 of the Montreux Convention.

In this latter connection, i. e. the matter of consular immunities as prescribed in Paragraph 3 of Article 11 of the Montreux Convention, it is recalled that this question was discussed on May 6 with the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs with particular reference to the matter of customs exemption, and that the Under Secretary stated that pending the conclusion of a consular convention between our two countries the Egyptian Government would be pleased to extend to American consular officers in Egypt the same customs privileges as were accorded Egyptian consular officers in the United States. Sharara Pasha suggested that a written communication be addressed to the Royal Ministry of Foreign Affairs setting forth the customs privileges accorded Egyptian consular officers in the United States to the end that similar privileges might be extended American consular officers in Egypt.

This matter was referred to the State Department at Washington, which has now authorized the Legation to state that Egyptian consular officers of Egyptian nationality in the United States are currently extended the privilege of free entry of duty on articles for their personal and household use during official residence, with the understanding [Page 519]that no article the importation of which is prohibited by the laws of the United States shall be imported by the persons in question. The State Department further instructed the Legation to state that in as much as the American Government does not limit the number of Egyptian diplomatic and consular officers to whom immunities are granted in the United States, it is assumed that the immunities which the Egyptian Government proposes to extend to American Foreign Service Officers in accordance with international law and usage on the basis of reciprocity will likewise be without number limitation.

Accept [etc.]

Raymond A. Hare
  1. Not printed.
  2. Ante, p. 515.
  3. See despatch No. 1899, October 21, 1939, from the Minister in Egypt, Foreign Relations, 1939, vol. iv, p. 486.