124.83/8–2746: Telegram

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


1458. Officially notify FonOff President has signified his desire American Mission Cairo be raised to rank of Embassy and he would welcome arrangement for exchange of Ambassadors between Egypt and USA.17 Such arrangement of course would be predicated on the understanding that American Amb upon being duly accredited would have status of complete equality with other foreign diplomatic representatives in Egypt of similar rank and question of his precedence would be regulated in accordance with accepted diplomatic procedure.

You may stress (1) the traditional cordiality of Egyptian-American relations which in recent years have become greatly intensified and strengthened, (2) Egypt’s importance as one of most progressive and influential of Arab states, (3) whatever other expressions of courtesy you may deem appropriate.

In conclusion, you may inform FonOff that if foregoing proposal is agreeable to Egyptian Govt, President desires to appoint as American Ambassador to Egypt Honorable S. Pinkney Tuck, and would welcome Egyptian agreement.

[Page 79]

For background you are informed that Brit authorities have informally given us to understand that Brit Govt would be prepared, if approached by Egyptian Govt to abandon any claim to precedence of Brit Amb over Am Amb other than that which is customarily accorded on basis of seniority.18

  1. In a memorandum of August 16, 1946, to President Truman, Acting Secretary of State Acheson stated: “Since 1876, when we established diplomatic relations with Egypt, our mission there has not had a higher rank than that of a Legation. In view of Egypt’s strategic position and its importance as one of the most advanced and influential states of the Arab world, the Department has desired to raise the Legation to an Embassy. It has refrained from attempting to do so, however, since in an exchange of notes between the Egyptian and British Governments subsequent to the Anglo-Egyptian Treaty of 1936, it was agreed that the British Ambassador should have precedence over all other foreign diplomats. Recently, however, the British have informed the Department that they are prepared, in case the Egyptian Government desires, to arrange with the Egyptians for the abandonment of the claim of the British Ambassador to take precedence.” The memorandum concluded with a request for the President’s concurrence to take the necessary steps to elevate the American Legation at Cairo and the Egyptian Legation at Washington to Embassies. The President gave his approval in a marginal notation on August 16. (124.83/8–1646)
  2. On August 31, 1946, the Charge in Egypt, Patterson, sent note 1787 to the Egyptian Minister for Foreign Affairs, which incorporated the substance of telegram 1458 (despatch 1874, September 20, from Cairo, 124.83/9–2046).