811.203/172: Telegram

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

1200. Your 1704, September 25. Department has consulted War Department which desires exclusive jurisdiction in criminal matters over all persons in Egypt subject to military law of United States. Military authorities will assume responsibility to try, and on conviction to punish, all offenses which such persons are alleged on sufficient evidence to have committed in Egypt.

Department approves of procedure suggested by you and considers it desirable if recognition of jurisdiction referred to can be obtained without formal agreement and as soon as possible. You may point out that jurisdiction desired by this Government is not as extensive [Page 91] as that granted to Great Britain under Anglo-Egyptian Treaty of August 26, 1936; that recognition of such jurisdiction would not in any sense constitute a regime such as the capitulations but is only designed to cover a special situation during a period of emergency for reasons of military discipline and a proper functioning of the military organization; and that such rights are generally recognized as appertaining to the military authorities in the circumstances indicated.

As requested, copies of the United States of America (Visiting Forces) Act, 194240 are being sent by air. That Act and the exchange of notes appended thereto indicate in more detail jurisdiction desired by military authorities of this Government. Similar jurisdiction has been recognized by the Australian Government without a formal agreement, and the matter is the subject of discussions with the Government of Canada.

  1. 5 & 6 Geo. VI, Ch. 31.