277. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Egypt1

3342. Embtels 3134,2 3125.3 Following are Dept comments on Egyptian reactions to US text in Deptel 3238,4 to be used in accordance with Dept instructions in separate telegram.5

Preamble: Believe first three articles Egyptian draft could be used in preamble to Declaration provided reference made to six principles in order avoid implication disavowal by failure to mention. Suggest this might be accomplished by following language para 3: “In elaboration of the principles set out in Egyptian memorandum March 18, 1957, and of the requirements incorporated in the resolution of the Security Council adopted October 13, 1956, the GOE hereby make etc.” Would like opportunity to comment on final text.

  • Para. 1. Egyptian point could be met by dropping word “will”. The sentence would then read “The Government of Egypt respect” etc.
  • Para. 3–B.GOE objection might be met by deleting words “and the other parties subscribing to this Declaration”.
  • Para. 4–B. Any increase tolls without agreement of users unacceptable in light six requirements, Secretary General’s October 24 letter to which Fawzi agreed, historical trend 27 reductions in tolls, and prospective increase in traffic which promises increased revenues at present level tolls.

    Point made by GOE re Representation of users might be met by substitution of phrase “agreed between Egypt and a Representation of users satisfactory to the UN, or failing agreement etc.” in place of “the Representation of which shall be determined by the UN”.

  • Para. 4–C. If agreement reached in paras 4–B and 7, we would be satisfied with “considered necessary by Egypt after consultation with the Representation of the users” in para 4–C.
  • Para. 6–C. In case BIS not available suggest substitution IBRD. Egyptian willingness to agree on this point would in fact increase international confidence far out of proportion to concession Egypt called on to make.
  • Para. 7. Together with requirement for user agreement on tolls, user agreement on code change is of crucial importance to protect against unreasonable burdens and covert discrimination.
  • Para. 8–D. This paragraph gives no rights to individual firms. Investigation would be made by the Representation of users as defined in paragraph 4–B upon complaint by individual firms under 8–B. Para 8–D intended implement paragraph 4E(a) of Hammarskjöld letter of October 24 to which Fawzi agreed. Department unable understand Fawzi’s objection on basis his exception paragraph 4E(d) of Hammarskjold letter since that exception related to sanctions and not fact finding. To clarify point the following words might be added at end of sentence: “of facts in connection with complaints under para 8–B.”
  • Para. 8–E. See comments on para 4–B above. Dept shares Egyptian view that representation of users should be of manageable size.
  • Para. 9. Dept finds GOE language this para standing alone most unsatisfactory since it fails provide adequately for implementing sixth point of October 13 resolution. However second sentence your comments on para 9 unclear (Embtel 3134) and GOE objections may not be understood. Assuming your second sentence refers to second sentence first para of No. 9 (Deptel 3238) Dept agreeable changes similar para 3–B or to arbitration provision such as in 8–B and C above provided it clear that Universal Suez Canal Company is one of parties at interest and has right to arbitration. If your second sentence refers second para No. 9 Dept agreeable to deletion although Dept unable understand reason for deletion since this GOE language.
  • Para 9 (third para). Dept believes adherence or acceptance by beneficiary nations essential to ensure Declaration is international agreement of binding character. Point out to GOE that only “treaties” and “agreements” can be registered under Article 102 of the UN Charter.

FYI only. This is very important legal point and Department suggestion was furnished with this in mind and not as means to strengthen Israeli case which US feels is already solidly based. End FYI.6

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 974.7301/4–557. Confidential; Niact. Drafted by Meeker, Shaw, Metzger, and Sisco; cleared by Raymond, Rountree, Jones, and Wilcox; and approved by Dillon. Repeated to USUN.
  2. Document 272.
  3. See footnotes 2, 5, and 6, ibid.
  4. Document 255.
  5. Supra.
  6. On April 9, Hare met with Fawzi and discussed the contents of telegram 3342. Fawzi took notes on Hare’s presentation and informed the Ambassador that he planned to see Nasser that evening to discuss the situation and would then arrange a meeting between Hare and Nasser, as soon as Egyptian study of the question was completed. The only substantive comments which Fawzi made during the meeting were to note with regret that the United States had not been able to accept the Egyptian view regarding the six principles. (Telegram 3174 from Cairo, April 9; Department of State, Central Files, 974.7301/4–957)