774.00/5–251: Telegram

The Ambassador in Egypt (Caffery) to the Department of State 1


1123. Egyptian Chamber Deputies “got even” last night with Brit Parl for anti-Egyptian statements. In strongest language yet used during Anglo-Egyptian negots Wafd as well as opposition speakers attacked Churchill and Conservative in particular Brit in gen, demanded abrogation 1936 Treaty, boycott to Brit, and treatment to “Brit dogs” in canal zone as “enemies”. One speaker went so far as to call for non-aggression treaty with Russia, another melodramatically tore up copy 1936 Treaty to tumultuous applause from house. US attacked as ally Brit ME policy.

In reply FonMin Salaheddin demonstrated maximum self-restraint possible under circumstances, promised any new treaty wld be submitted Parl before signature and that he wld never sign an agreement that did not realize Egypt’s national demands to the full. “Either Brit concedes our demands or the result will be what you have suggested”.

FonMin made three points in particular: (1) Defending restrictions Suez Canal tankers;2 (2) Condemning Brit failure permit supply arms including threat to “buy them from the devil if necessary”; and (3) Reiterating usual Sudan stand. Overall effect his speech calming in that no new definite Egyptian action any kind announced.

Altho mtg probably inevitable “escape valve” for pent-up Egyptian feelings, any definite dragging our negots certain become progressively more difficult.

  1. Repeated to London, Beirut for Blandford, and all other Arab capitals.
  2. Reference is to Egyptian restrictions against tankers using the Suez Canal as a passageway to Israel ports. For documentation on this subject, see pp. 559 ff.