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The American Minister in Egypt (Kirk) to the Egyptian Minister for Foreign Affairs (Samy)

No. 74


CAIRO, July 12, 1941. EXCELLENCY: I have the honor to refer to the Royal Ministry's note no. 63, file no. 38.106/2 of June 12, 1941 in reply to my communication of May 24 transmitting a memorandum setting forth certain considerations regarding the prospective effect on American educational institutions in Egypt of legislation reported to be under consideration with a view to the amendment of Law 40 of 1934 governing the activities of private schools.

I have noted with pleasure the assurances given in the Royal Ministry's note in respect of the favorable disposition of the Egyptian Government toward foreign educational institutions in general and American institutions in particular and the statement of the Royal Ministry that any legislation framed affecting such institutions would be in accordance with the engagements given by the Egyptian Government under the Montreux Convention and appended instruments. In order, however, to avoid any possible misunderstanding in this connection I venture to invite the attention of the Royal Ministry to a point mentioned in its note under reference which does not accord with information available to me on the subject. I refer to the statement to the effect that "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 divergence of opinion". It is my understanding in this connection that in addition to the matter of religious instruction there were certain other subjects on which the representatives of the foreign schools, including the representatives of the American schools, failed to agree in whole or in part with the representatives of the Ministry of Education and that certain of these differences of opinion were set forth in letters addressed to the Minister of Education by these representatives, copies of three of which, dated March 14, 1941, March 21, 1941 and March 26, 1941, respectively, are transmitted herewith.75 The contents of these memoranda are deemed to be self explanatory.

Another aspect of this matter to which I would invite Your Excellency's attention is the informal character of the conferences held between the representatives of the Ministry of Education and of foreign institutions. It is my understanding that the activity of the

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

75 None found in Department files.

representatives of foreign institutions, including the American, in this connection was confined exclusively to personal consultation on the invitation of the Minister of Education with a view to the benefit which might accrue from a free exchange of ideas on matters of mutual interest and that the representatives of the foreign institutions were not empowered officially to make any commitments in respect of the organizations with which they were identified and to which they had not submitted the proposals, nor were they authorized in any way whatsoever to speak for American institutions whose representatives did not attend the conferences. Reference is made in this connection to the letter dated March 21, 1941 addressed to the Minister of Education by the representatives of certain schools, already mentioned above as an enclosure herewith.

I should be most appreciative if Your Excellency would be so good as to use your good offices to bring these considerations to the attention of the appropriate authorities with a view to removing such misunderstanding on the subject as now apparently exists. At the same time, I would add that upon consultation with representatives of American educational institutions since the receipt of the Royal Ministry's note under acknowledgement I find that upon the basis of information available to them they are still apprehensive that the proposed legislation would be prejudicial to their status as guaranteed under the Montreux Convention and in this connection I wish to reiterate to Your Excellency the hope of my Government that no action will be taken by the Egyptian Government in derogation of such formal guarantees or of the generally cooperative position taken by the Egyptian representatives at Montreux in respect of foreign educational institutions.

I wish to assure Your Excellency of my readiness to furnish any further information in the premises which you may require or to discuss the matter with you personally should you so desire. Please accept [etc.]



The Egyptian Minister for Foreign Affairs (Samy) to the American

Minister in Egypt (Kirk)


No. P. 2-38.106/2


CAIRO, July 24, 1941.

No. P 12167

MR. MINISTER: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of Your Excellency's letter No. 74 of July 12, 1941 in regard to the proposed

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


legislation for the elaboration and modification of Law No. 40 of 1934 concerning the activities of private educational institutions.

I have not failed to transmit the contents of this letter to the competent authorities and to request them to make a detailed examination of the question in the light of the assurances given by this Ministry.78 I avail myself [etc.] SALIB SAMY

783.003/383: Telegram

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

CAIRO, August 7, 1941-7 p. m. [Received August 9-9:29 a. m.]

1097. The Department's mail instruction No. 537, March 7, 1941. The compilation of the supplementary information regarding American institutions is virtually complete and the Legation contemplates forwarding this material to the Foreign Office at an early date. It is not believed, however, that any useful purpose would be served by the submission of an interpretation of the exchange of letters at Montreux as suggested in the Department's instruction under reference in view of the fact that meanwhile [apparent omission] the Department's telegraphic instruction No. 144 of May 12, 8 p. m., on the basis of which representations have been made twice to Egyptian Government with regard to the matter of foreign schools as reported in my 998, July 22, noon.79 In the circumstances it is believed that further discussions at the time would serve only to complicate the issue. This point has been discussed with the British Embassy which is in entire agreement and which expects shortly to submit the supplementary information regarding British establishments as a routine matter without comment.

The list of American institutions is the same as that enclosed with the Legation's despatch No. 2281 [2282] of December 21, 1940 79 with the omission of the Rockefeller Foundation as authorized by the Department's instruction No. 521 of December 26, 1940, with the listing of the Peniel American Mission, Port Said, as a religious institution, and addition of the following schools: (1) The three schools of the Pentecost Faith Mission mentioned in the despatch under reference; (2) an American Mission sub-primary school at Quesna; and (3) a primary school of the Church of God Mission at Alexandria.

The Department's telegraphic approval of the above is requested. KIRK

78 There is no indication in the Department files that any further negotiations took place on this issue.

79 Not printed.

783.003/383: Telegram

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

WASHINGTON, August 18, 1941-8 p. m. 384. Your 1097, August 7, 7 p. m. In view of the exchange of views between the Legation and the Egyptian Government which has taken place since the Department's mail instruction of March 7, 1941 was drafted, the Legation is authorized to forward to the Foreign Office without comment the compilation of supplementary information respecting American institutions.

The list of American institutions as amended by the Legation's telegram under reference is approved.



The American Legation in Egypt to the Egyptian Ministry for Foreign Affairs 80

No. 195

The Legation of the United States of America presents its compliments to the Royal Ministry of Foreign Affairs and has the honor to refer to the Legation's Note No. 16 dated April 19, 1941,81 and previous correspondence relative to the American educational, medical and charitable institutions in Egypt which were the subject of an exchange of letters between the Egyptian and American delegations at the Montreux Conference.

The information requested by the Royal Ministry with respect to the American institutions has now been compiled and is transmitted herewith.81 It will be observed that the material relates to ten establishments, namely:


The American Mission in Egypt

The American University at Cairo

The Assemblies of God Mission School, Shubra

The Assiut Orphanage

The Egyptian Expedition of the Metropolitan Museum of Art,
New York

The Epigraphic and Architectural Survey of the Oriental Insti-
tute, the University of Chicago

The International Committee of Young Men's Christian Asso-
ciations of the United States and Canada

The Joint Expedition of Harvard University and the Museum of
Fine Arts (Boston)

Copy transmitted to the Department by the Minister in Egypt in his airmail despatch No. 141, November 13; received November 27.

81 Not found in Department files.

The Peniel American Mission School, Port Said

The Pentecost Faith Mission Orphanage at Alexandria and
Schools in Girga Province.

There is attached a revised list of the American institutions in Egypt, superseding the list enclosed with the Legation's note No. 870 of December 14, 1940.83

The Legation of the United States of America avails itself of this opportunity to renew to the Royal Ministry of Foreign Affairs the assurances of its high consideration.

CAIRO, November 13, 1941.


List of Institutions Referred to in the Letter of the President of the Egyptian Delegation to the President of the American Delegation At Montreux dated May 8, 1937


1. The Joint Expedition of Harvard University and the Museum of Fine Arts (Boston), Harvard Camp, Pyramids P. O. Cairo (Archaeological).

2. The Epigraphic and Architectural Survey of the Oriental Institute, the University of Chicago, Luxor (Archaeological).

3. The Egyptian Expedition of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Luxor (Archaeological).

4. The American University at Cairo.

5. The following 40 schools are maintained by the American Mission in Egypt: 84


Assiut College for Boys

Assiut College for Girls (P. M. I.)
Ezbekia, Cairo, Boys

American College for Girls, Cairo
Tanta Girls College

Ezbekia, Cairo, Girls


Luxor, Girls

Fayoum, Girls

Alexandria, Girls
Zagazig, Girls

83 Enclosure to despatch No. 2282, December 21, 1940, from the Minister in Egypt, not printed.

84 In a note of December 15, 1941, the American Legation informed the Egyptian Ministry for Foreign Affairs that the Zagazig Sub-Secondary School for Girls and the Zagazig Primary School for Boys, listed below, were at that time being operated by the Egyptian General Mission, a British institution (783.003/385).

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