Page images

given by the Royal Government of Afghanistan to a third foreign Government or to be given in the future.

ARTICLE V The provisions of this Treaty concerning the most favored nation clause do not apply to the following:

(1) Concessions and facilities granted by each of the High Contracting Parties to a third Government or to be granted in the future, on a reciprocal basis.

(2) Privileges and advantages given or to be granted in the future by each of the High Contracting Parties to a neighboring Government to afford frontier trade facilities.

(3) Concessions granted or to be granted in the future by one of the High Contracting Parties to a third

Government by virtue of separate treaties for the purpose of preventing double taxation.

ARTICLE VI The High Contracting Parties, desiring to extend trade between Afghanistan and the United States of America, will in the future conclude a separate commercial convention for the purpose of regulating and extending the trade relations between the two countries.

ARTICLE VII This treaty will be put into effect after it goes through the proper stages and after the exchange of ratifications. It will be in force for a period of five years. If at the end of the fourth year one of the parties should not communicate to the other party its desire to terminate this treaty, this treaty will, after the termination of the first five years, become automatically operative for five more years.

ARTICLE VIII From the date this treaty goes into effect the Provisional Accord concluded on March 26, 1936, becomes invalid.

ARTICLE IX Therefore the undersigned placed their signatures on this treaty in two copies, in Persian and English, both languages being of equal force.

This the (date)

[Consideration of a treaty between the United States and Afghanistan apparently was in abeyance during the war.]


740.0011 European War 1939/9813

The Chargé in Egypt (Hare) to the Secretary of State

No. 2361

CAIRO, March 3, 1941.

[Received April 10.] SIR:I have the honor to report that on the occasion of Minister Fish being received by King Farouk on February 26th prior to the Minister's departure for his new post at Lisbon the conversation turned, I was informed by the Minister, to various problems which had confronted His Majesty since his accession to the throne and particularly to the subject of Egypt's policy in respect of the war.

In this connection the Minister remarked to the King that he had been given to understand at one time that Aly Maher Pasha, the Prime Minister at the time of the outbreak of the war, had assured the British in the early days following the beginning of hostilities that Egypt would declare war and had even gone so far as to state as much in writing but that he had subsequently changed his mind and reversed his position.

King Farouk confirmed the accuracy of the Minister's understanding and added that Aly Maher Pasha had actually assured the British on three separate occasions that Egypt would declare war against Germany. However, the King said that when he became aware of what was happening he advised Aly Maher that he was unalterably opposed to such a course of action and that Aly Maher, when he saw that the King's position had the full support of public opinion, had realized his mistake and had come around to the King's point of view. The King gave the Minister clearly to understand, however, that, had it not been for his personal intervention, Egypt would certainly have been drawn into the war. Furthermore, the King went on to say that, not only had he taken a strong hand in this matter with Aly Maher, but he had also exacted promises from the two succeeding Prime Ministers, Hassan Sabry Pasha and Hussein Sirry Pasha, when

For previous correspondence on this subject, see Foreign Relations, 1940, vol. TII, pp. 465 ff.


they took over the premiership, that they would not permit Egypt to be drawn in the war.

In relating the foregoing to me the Minister added that after taking leave of the King he happened to be talking to Hassanein Pasha, Chief of the Royal Cabinet, who entirely confirmed the King's account of the role he had played in opposing Egypt's entry into the war. How consistently the Egyptian Government has adhered to this policy of non-involvement in the war has been brought out in numerous reports submitted by the Legation. That such remains its unswerving policy was clearly evidenced in a speech delivered by Hussein Sirry Pasha, the Prime Minister, at Minia on February 26th, the day of Minister Fish's audience with the King, when he (the Prime Minister) made the following statement (in translation) in the course of a declaration on general Government policy:

“The world is today being shaken by important events. There is no country which is sheltered from this war and its misfortunes or which is completely beyond its reach ...? Nevertheless, your Government, always awake and on guard, is doing its best to ward off these misfortunes from you. Inspired by the wisdom of our Beloved Sovereign and looking only to the general interest, it is exerting every effort to shield you from this terrible war.” Respectfully yours,



740.0011 European War 1939/9658 : Telegram

The Minister in Egypt (Kirk) to the Secretary of State

CAIRO, April 4, 1941–4 p. m.

[Received April 5–4:55 p. m.] 189. The Legation's 184, April 4th. According to informal British circles the original campaign by the British against Bengazi had the twofold and immediate purpose of cutting off and destroying the retreating Italian forces and acquiring use of the port. The first objective was attained completely but the second was not realized because the harbor was found littered with sunken Italian ships and also because of heavy bombing particularly by German planes.

Having captured Bengazi it would have been highly desirable to push on and occupy Tripolitania but that project had to be abandoned owing to the necessity of sending troops to Greece * and it was therefore decided to hold Cyrenaica lightly. British strength in that area was also reduced owing to the necessity of sending back for repairs much of the mechanized equipment used in the Libyan advance. Consequently when the Italo-German forces began their recent advance General Wavelló who is an exponent of mobility in desert tactics flew personally to survey the scene of action (in fact he was about the last person to leave at the time of the evacuation of Bengazi) and decided to fall back to a defense point of his choosing. In fact it is likely that in accordance with this plan still further withdrawal is in prospect but the British military maintain, albeit none too convincingly, that enemy forces now available are not sufficient for an attack directed against Egypt. They admit, however, that adverse effect of the move from a propaganda point of view and the distinct advantage to the enemy of the acquisition of advance air bases, but doubt whether it will be possible to utilize Bengazi port owing to its encumbered condition.

* Omission indicated in the original despatch. 8 Not printed. * For correspondence on this subject, see vol. II, pp. 635 ff.


News of the capture of Bengazi and especially the admission in the communiqué of the part played by German troops came as a definite shock to the Egyptian public which, although originally perturbed by the reports of German troops in Libya, had been reassured by optimistic press releases of the military authorities. Correspondents had also been kept in the dark as regarded the seriousness of the situation, when advised that a special communiqué was being issued last night are said to have expected the announcement of the fall of Massawa.

As matters stand at the moment the general Egyptian reaction is one of certain apprehension but not serious alarm owing to the reputation which General Wavell enjoys for mastering difficult situations. However, if as seems likely the Italo-German advance should continue for some distance beyond Bengazi the Egyptians will undoubtedly take a much more serious view of the situation and reassuring statements are already being issued by the British to calm public fears.


740.0011 European War 1939/9904 : Telegram

The Minister in Egypt (Kirk) to the Secretary of State

CAIRO, April 11, 1941–9 a. m.

[Received April 12–11:05 a. m.] 237. Referring to my telegram No. 230, April 10, 10 a. m., according to an account of an interview yesterday with the Egyptian Prime Minister published by this morning's Journal d'Egypte and reproduced in Al Ahram, the Prime Minister's attention was called by a


6 Gen. Sir Archibald P. Wavell, Commander in Chief of the British Forces in the Middle East.

For correspondence regarding Ethiopia and Italian East Africa, see pp. 341 ff. 'Not printed.

correspondent to prevailing apprehension in Egypt following recent developments in the international situation and it was observed that a report was current that the British Ambassador Ta had presented a dark picture of the situation to the Prime Minister 3 days before as a result of which an urgent meeting of the Cabinet had been called.

The Prime Minister replied that on the contrary the Ambassador had given a reassuring account of the military situation, that other political and financial matters had been discussed and that there had been nothing alarming about the Cabinet session which followed. The Prime Minister went on to say that as a result of information which had come to him from Egyptian diplomatic sources and conversations with Eden 8 and Egyptian and British military authorities the Egyptian Government had been forewarned of the turn which events have now taken and that he was fully confident as to the outcome.

The Prime Minister went on to say that British reenforcements are arrriving in increasing numbers and that this movement should increase following recent successes in East Africa ; that the British High Command has maintained its forces intact and has full knowledge of the terrain over which operations were being conducted and where previous important strategic successes had been achieved, and that in taking a confident view of the situation he felt that the opinion of experts should prevail over that of civilians.

In the circumstances the Prime Minister advised the public not to become overwrought, to have confidence in the military authorities, to proceed calmly with the tasks of the day and to place faith in the Government for the protection of public interests. The Prime Minister added that compared with other countries Egypt occupies a fortunate position and that even though the situation might necessitate certain sacrifices they would be small compared to those elsewhere and Egypt should give the world and particularly the Orient an example of firm moral balance, of perfect discipline and of faith in the future.


740.0011 European War 1939/9946 : Telegram

The Minister in Egypt (Kirk) to the Secretary of State

CAIRO, April 13, 1941–11 a. m.

[Received April 14—8:40 a. m.] 253. The prevailing opinion in informed circles here regarding developments in Cyrenaica seems to be that the situation has stabilized somewhat but that it is still a question whether the British will be able


Sir Miles W. Lampson. • Anthony Eden, British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs.

« PreviousContinue »