641.74/7–751: Telegram

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

top secret

16. Brit Amb told me last night he recd Egyptian reply yesterday (one day later than promised) and I read it this morning. It recites again at some length the Egyptian case for early evacuation. For the Sudan it emphasizes the omission in the Brit note of mention of “unity under the Egyptian Crown”, recites again at some length the Egyptian case and finally says that Egyptian Govt will accept suggestion for setting up proposed commission on condition the Egyptian Crown be not in question and an election be held within 2 years after the evacuation Brit military and civilian officials.

The really interesting point is the statement that the Egyptian Govt sees no object in further prolongation of convs with no end in sight and therefore insists in effect that unless Egyptian point of view is met in the near future Egyptian Govt will be compelled to do something about it. Stevenson asked MinFonAff what he meant by that. He replied, “it is imperative that before this Parliament adjourns in about 6 weeks we see tangible evidence of real results or we shall break off negotiations.” Stevenson doubts that Cabinet authorized him to (go that far) and said so to Kerim Tabet this morning. Kerim Tabet said that as the Grand Chamberlain will be Acting Chief of Cabinet after departure of Hassan Youssef Pasha this afternoon Stevenson shld ask him to request MinFonAff for a record of the minutes of the conv to send to His Majesty in the hope that if the records contain this statement the King will have something to say about it.

I read also Ambs telegram to London transmitting Egyptian note in which he observes that he wld try to keep the ball rolling all summer on the Sudan. It is his present intention to see Min around end of [Page 371] next week and attempt to get him to talk about setting up the Sudan commission.2

  1. Repeated to London.
  2. In telegram 43 from Cairo, July 14, Caffery reported that the Egyptian Minister for Foreign Affairs had told him “that Brit negots are ‘getting nowhere’ and unless something unexpected happens he proposes before the end of the present Parliament session (around middle Aug) to announce the end of the talks and to publish the minutes of conversations with Brit Amb, and finally to renounce the 1936 treaty. I told him I wld deprecate this etc., etc.” (641.74/7–1451). In telegram 114 from Cairo, July 27, Caffery reported on further conversations between Ambassador Stevenson and Egyptian Foreign Minister Salaheddin in which Salaheddin contended that unless “Great Britain agreed as basis for discussion that unity of the Sudan and Egypt under the Egyptian Crown would not be in question it was useless to continue conversations.” Stevenson “gave him any number of sound reasons why it is not possible at this juncture to make such a commitment but to no avail.” Salaheddin then repeated that before the end of the current parliamentary session he would make a statement to the Egyptian Parliament as to whether or not it was worthwhile continuing negotiations. (641.74/7–2751)