The Ambassador in the United Kingdom (Winant) to the Secretary of State

No. 4206

Sir: I have the honor to inform the Department that the Embassy has been approached by the Foreign Office in connection with the [Page 88] possible despatch of American armed forces to Egypt. In a letter dated June 9, 1942, (copies of which are enclosed)33 from an official of the Foreign Office, the difficulties encountered by the British in connection with the troops of the Allies of Great Britain in Egypt are indicated.

It appears that whereas the British enjoy certain privileges by virtue of the “Immunities Convention” annexed to the Anglo-Egyption Treaty of Alliance34 the Egyptian authorities objected to the troops of the Allies entering and leaving Egypt under the same conditions as those enjoyed by the British. A system was devised whereby a special yellow card was issued to members of the Allied forces. This did not, however, solve the problem from the point of view of the Egyptian authorities; and now the British Ambassador to Egypt35 has worked out a solution whereby he gave assurance, on behalf of the British Military High Command in Egypt, of the repatriation of members of the Allied forces.

The British have given the Embassy a draft aide-mémoire for communication by them to the Allied Governments or authorities concerned and to the Free French, copies of which are enclosed,33 with regard to this matter. In this aide-mémoire it is stated that the Egyptian Government have requested that the assurance given by Sir Miles Lampson should be supplemented by similar assurances by the Allied Governments concerned. The British Government state that, as the discussions on the subject had been carried on by Sir Miles Lampson, it would be convenient and would avoid any risk of the matter being re-opened if the respective Allied Governments would authorize Sir Miles Lampson to convey their assurances to the Egyptian Government.

The Foreign Office, in its afore-mentioned letter, asked if the Embassy could inform it of the action the United States Government would wish to take regarding members of the American Armed Forces who are serving or may serve in Egypt during the War.

It is requested that the Embassy be instructed as to the reply it should make to the Foreign Office on this matter.

Respectfully yours,

For the Ambassador:
H. Freeman Matthews

Counselor of Embassy
  1. Not printed.
  2. Signed at London, August 26, 1936, League of Nations Treaty Series, vol. clxxiii, p. 401; for the Convention concerning the immunities and privileges to be enjoyed by the British Forces in Egypt, signed the same day, see ibid., p. 433.
  3. Sir Miles Lampson.
  4. Not printed.