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institutions it is therefore recommended that I be authorized at this time to invite the attention of the Prime Minister to the fears of the American institutions in this respect and express the hope that in any legislation bearing on foreign schools due regard will be taken of the rights guaranteed American institutions under the Montreux Convention freely to carry on their activities, at least during the period of transition provided in the Convention.

The British Embassy was also approached by British educational institutions in this matter and requested instructions from the Foreign Office in London. It is understood that the Embassy has now received a reply directing it to protest against the proposed legislation on the ground in so far as curriculum and personnel are concerned that it would contravene the guarantees given at Montreux and in so far as the religious issue is concerned to maintain that there is no reasonable basis for the proposed restrictions but in so doing to refrain from placing such objections on legal grounds or citing Montreux.

KIRK

383.0063/23: Telegram

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

CAIRO, May 1, 1941–6 p. m.

[Received May 2—7:47 a. m.] 380. The Legation's telegram No. 323, April 24, 9 a. m. The British Embassy made representations on April 28. I believe that the effectiveness of our representations and those of the British would be enhanced if the Legation could be authorized to communicate with the Foreign Office on the matter as soon as possible.

KIRK

383.0063/22: Telegram

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

WASHINGTON, May 12, 1941—8 p. m. 144. The Department communicated the substance of your 323, April 24, 9 a. m. to Lum 69 of the American University, to Reed to of the United Presbyterian Board, and to Warnshuis 71 of the International Missionary Council, with a request for comments. Thus far only Lum has replied. However, we had previously discussed the matter at length with Lum, McClenahan and Reed, and in view of your 380, May 1, 6 p. m. it appears undesirable to delay instructions any longer.

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You are authorized to bring the question of restrictive legislation to the attention of the Prime Minister in the sense of the recommendation contained in your no. 323, and to express the additional hope that apart from any question of rights involved, nothing will be done which might be regarded as a backward step.

You may also state that the Department has closely followed the course of the matter and cannot but feel that if the American educational institutions are placed in the defensive position of having to justify their work continuously and in detail, their effectiveness and the enthusiasm of the personnel will be bound to suffer, with adverse results to their contribution to Egyptian education. Sooner or later, these institutions would be bound to consider whether the contribution they are permitted to make is sufficient to justify its continuance. It is hoped that their work will go forward under reasonable conditions in a spirit of mutual respect and confidence.

HULL

383.0063/34 The American Minister in Egypt (Kirk) to the Egyptian Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs (Sirry) 72

CAIRO, May 24, 1941. MY DEAR MR. PRIME MINISTER: I am taking the liberty of transmitting to Your Excellency herewith an informal memorandum, setting forth certain views in regard to the status of foreign educational institutions in Egypt with special reference to reports which have been received regarding a project of law governing such institutions in this country.

The interest which Your Excellency has been good enough to manifest in the keen efforts of foreign educational institutions to contribute to the cultural life of Egypt encourages me in the belief that the observations contained in the enclosed memorandum setting forth a statement of the broader aspects of the question as affecting American institutions in Egypt may receive your sympathetic consideration. I am [etc.]

ALEXANDER KIRK

[Enclosure]

The American Legation to the Egyptian Ministry for Foreign Affairs

MEMORANDUM

American educational, scientific, medical and charitable institutions carry on their activities in Egypt in accordance with assurances given

72 Copy transmitted to the Department by the Minister in Egypt in his despatch No. 82, August 8; received December 9.

at Montreux by the President of the Egyptian Delegation to that convention in a letter dated May 8, 1937, addressed to the President of the Delegation of the United States of America, under which such institutions existing in Egypt on the date of the signing of the Montreux Convention "may continue freely to carry on their activities in Egypt, whether educational, scientific, medical or charitable” subject to certain conditions set forth in that letter.

For some months those institutions, together with other alien institutions of a similar character, have, as a result of conferences with officials of the Ministry of Education and items appearing in the local press, had cause to fear that steps are being taken to have enacted certain amendments to Law 40 of 1934 governing the activities of the private schools in Egypt which would be in derogation of the aforementioned assurances and conditions. The Legation has, therefore, been authorized to invite the attention of the Egyptian Government to the fears of the American institutions in this respect and to express the hope that, in the enactment of any legislation bearing on foreign schools due regard will be taken of the rights guaranteed American institutions under the Montreux Convention freely to carry on their activities, at least during the period of transition provided in the Convention.

The Legation has also been authorized to express the additional hope of the Department of State that, apart from the question of the rights involved, nothing will be done which might be regarded as a backward step from the position taken by the Egyptian Government at Montreux. The Department of State and the Legation have closely followed the course of this matter and cannot but feel that, if American educational institutions are placed in the defensive position of having to justify their work continually and in detail, their effectiveness and the enthusiasm of the personnel will be bound to suffer with severe results to their contribution to Egyptian education. Sooner or later, if the questions of educational restrictions are constantly agitated, these institutions would be bound to consider whether the contribution which they are permitted will be sufficient to justify its continuance. It is hoped, therefore, that their work will be permitted to go forward under reasonable conditions consistent with the assurances given at Montreux and in a spirit of mutual respect and understanding.

CAIRO, May 24, 1941.

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383.0063/34 The Egyptian Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs (Sirry) to the American Minister in Egypt (Kirk) 78

[Translation] No. 38.106/2

CAIRO, 12 June, 1941. No. 63

MY DEAR MR. MINISTER: Having discussed with H. E. the Minister of Education the subject referred to in Your Excellency's letter of the 24th May concerning the American educational institutions in this country, we have come to the conclusion that the apprehensions referred to in the note accompanying the letter are groundless. On the contrary the American institutions in Egypt, like all foreign institutions, receive from the Egyptian Ministry of Education due regard and appreciation. The provisions made in the Treaty of Montreux concerning these institutions are carefully observed, and the Egyptian Ministry of Education gives all non-government educational institutions all the assistance they need to enable them to carry out their work within the limits of law and order.

The project of law for the amendment of Act 40, 1934 need not arouse any apprehension whatsoever. This project has been drawn after long and detailed discussion between the Ministry of Education and those in charge of the various foreign institutions, amongst whom of course were those in charge of the American institutions, with Dr. Watson, Chancellor of the American University, at their head.

The text of the Treaty of Montreux regarding this subject was carefully taken into consideration when the amendments were proposed, and the whole project, besides, is now before the Legislative Committee of the Egyptian Government, who will make sure that its items conform strictly to the provisions of the Treaty.

In fact, the amendment of Act 40, 1934 as laid down in the aforesaid project was a matter of absolute necessity, and should arouse no opposition whatever. Furthermore, the amendments affecting foreign institutions had the full consent of those in charge of the institutions themselves, with the possible exception of the item dealing with religious teaching about which there was a slight difference of opinion.

This difference, however, was limited to some of the details and did not affect the principle itself; and on this point the Ministry of Education was as tolerant as it could possibly be. It is a fundamental principle that the pupil should be taught no religion other than his own. No infringement of this principle is permissible either by

73 Copy transmitted to the Department by the Minister in Egypt in his despatch No. 82, August 8; received December 9.

public morality or public order. Acting on this principle, the Ministry of Education has justly refused to be bound by any declaration to the contrary made by the pupils' parents or guardians. By so doing the Ministry has no other intention than the protection of the pupils' creeds and it has therefore accepted the proposal submitted by Dr. Watson, Chancellor of the American University, as it was in no way contradictory to the above principle. It was formally laid down in the explanatory note attached to the project that this new article prohibits only the teaching of any religion to the pupil except his own. But the teachers are free to make any reference to the history or the moral, principles of other religions in the classroom during the lessons of philosophy, ethics, and the like, provided they are not intended to tamper with the pupils' religion either directly or indirectly.

The Ministry of Education is therefore convinced that the project of law for the amendment of Act 40, 1934 is quite natural and in agreement with the letter and spirit of the Treaty of Montreux, a fact which will be further taken into consideration by the Legislative Committee of the Egyptian Government.

This being the case, there is, we believe, no ground for the apprehensions referred to in the note accompanying Your Excellency's letter. When put into effect, the law will have the same aim in the future as it had during the past School-Year, namely full and explicit cooperation between the Ministry of Education and all nongovernment Educational Institutions for the welfare of the pupils, the teaching authorities and education as a whole. No complaint has been made to the Ministry of Education against its inspection of the foreign schools, which may arouse any apprehension about the future. On the contrary the Ministry is sure that the projected amendments and the way in which Act 40, 1934 is now carried out are the natural preparation for the future evolution of the institutions, enabling them in the meantime to go through the transition stage, and the subsequent stages as well, in such a way as will make the cooperation between this country and the foreign institutions fruitful for all concerned.

Your Excellency, therefore, need have no apprehensions on this subject, and you may rest assured that our country's desire to safeguard her sovereignty will in no way make her forget the valuable educational and cultural services rendered to her by the foreign institutions.

It is her earnest desire to help these institutions to perform their duties, to enjoy in full their educational independence, and preserve their special characteristics intact, subject only to the restrictions of public morality and public order. I am [etc.]

H. SIRRY

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