883.24/12

Memorandum of Conversation, by the Assistant Secretary of State (Long)

The Egyptian Minister45 called today ostensibly to present Mr. Anis Azer, the new Counselor. The Counselor then spoke of the general situation existing in Egypt. They had no army because under the policy and practice since the Egyptian occupation they had not developed an army of any considerable strength and they had no equipment. Consequently the army was not of much value and they could not be of much military assistance to the British. However, he said that all the assets and resources of the country, including public, private industrial and financial organizations, were devoted to the service of the British and all were engaged practically exclusively in that service even to the exclusion of some of the needs of Egypt. But the Minister and Counselor were having difficulties in getting permits to export certain materials which were essential for Egypt, not only for its own use, but for the continuing aid it was rendering to Britain. And they hoped that the American Government under its policy to help Britain should be able to take into consideration the fact that Egypt was helping the British and needed certain articles which they would import from America in order to further that aid. They said they were to discuss this situation with the British authorities in Washington. I told them that those questions were economic as well as policy questions and suggested that they see the appropriate officers of the Government, including Dr. Feis. I said that we would always be glad to hear what they had to say and to consider any proposals that they might make.

B[reckinridge] L[ong]
  1. Mahmoud Hassan Bey.