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

No. 2136

Sir: I have the honor to refer to the Legation’s despatch no. 2119 of June 3, 1940, enclosing a copy of a note addressed to the Egyptian Minister of Foreign Affairs on May 29, 1940, regarding the matter of customs franchise for American consular officers in Egypt, and to enclose a copy and translation of a note dated June 11, 1940 from the Foreign Office, stating that pending the conclusion of a consular convention between the United States and Egypt, the Egyptian Government is prepared to extend customs exemption to American consular officers in Egypt on the basis of reciprocity.

It will be noted that although the Legation in its note of May 29, 1940 particularly stressed that customs franchise was extended to Egyptian consular officers in the United States without limitation as to number, the Foreign Office’s reply makes no reference to this point. Under ordinary circumstances this matter would have been taken up with the Foreign Office before reporting further on the subject to the Department, but it so happens that the Legation has just been advised that the boat which is to carry the pouch in which this despatch is to be sent is sailing this afternoon, several days in advance of its scheduled departure. A further report on this subject will, therefore, be submitted in due course.

I may add that so far as the Legation is aware, American consular officers in Egypt are the only such officers to whom customs franchise has been restored following the expiration on May 8 of the three-year period specified in the third paragraph of Article 11 of the Montreux Convention.

Respectfully yours,

Raymond A. Hare
[Page 520]

The Egyptian Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (Charara) to the American Chargé (Hare)

No. 28.76/7 (203)

Mr. Chargé d’Affaires: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter No. 774 of May 29, 1940, by which you were good enough to inform me, in reference to the draft consular convention to be concluded between our two Governments, that your Government grants to consular agents of Egyptian nationality who are performing their duties in the United States of America, the customs franchise on personal effects and household articles which they may import during their official stay. In this letter you requested to be informed whether, while awaiting the conclusion of a consular convention between the two countries, the Egyptian Government would be disposed to extend the same treatment to American consular agents performing their duties in Egypt.

In reply, I hasten to inform you that the Royal Egyptian Government sees no objection to extending the same treatment to American consular agents who are carrying on their duties in Egypt, on the condition of reciprocity and while awaiting the conclusion of a consular convention between the two countries.

I seize this occasion [etc.]

M. Charara