811.20 Defense (M)/1976: Telegram

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

463. Personal for Feis. Continuing my 434, May 8, 5 p.m. I happen to know that the Egyptian railways are in urgent need of trucks and engines and that this shortage of rolling stock and locomotives is regarded as particularly serious in view of the expected increase in shipping including American to the Red Sea ports. I have been told in high Egyptian as well as British circles that tenders from American firms for the sale to the railways here of railroad equipment might be welcome and I pass this on to you in order to see if anything can be done along this line. I am also wondering if any such deals could be facilitated under some provision of the Lease and Lend Bill.46 Incidentally I firmly believe that any such contemplated deals by American manufacturers should be accompanied or preferably preceded by a proposal to the Egyptian Government to send here American transportation experts to suggest improvements in the transportation system here and that the quicker this can be done the better.

Of course this all may be an excess of zeal on my part but I do hope that you will agree that it is worth trying out. I must add that in all such matters I can only emphasize the fact that anything that we can do to further trade between the United States and Egypt now will serve the dual purpose of opening up for the future important markets for American goods in this area which has hitherto dealt [Page 305] largely with Central Europe and, what is of more immediate concern, will give concrete encouragement to this country which is looking more and more to the United States to save it from the Nazis.

  1. Approval March 11, 1941; 55 Stat. 31.