811.221/275: Telegram

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

1020. Major General Maxwell36 informs me that he has been designated Commanding General United States Army Forces in the Middle East. It would appear that this measure raises the fundamental question of the status of American operations in this entire area and from the point of view of this Legation, the matter of the relations of this command to the Egyptian Government on whose territory it is to operate. I urge therefore that immediate steps be taken in consultation with the War Department to specify the status of that command as envisaged at present and, in the absence of any treaty between the United States and Egypt analogous to the Anglo-Egyptian of 1936, to determine the basis of understanding with the Egyptian Government which may be regarded as essential for the activities of that command in order that it may operate freely and effectively on Egyptian territory.

  1. Maj. Gen. Russell L. Maxwell, previously Chief of the United States Military Mission in North Africa, with headquarters at Cairo.