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Members of the Arbitral Tribunal



This is a claim of the Government of the United States for an indemnity amounting to 211,724 Egyptian pounds (gold), on behalf of George J. Salem who was born in Egypt and naturalized in the United States.

The claim is based

1. Upon the treatment experienced by Salem from
the Egyptian local and mixed authorities
which is regarded as a denial of his rights.
2. Upon the alleged violation of treaty rights of the
United States.


The facts are as follows:

George J. Salem was born at Mehalla el Kobra, in the Province of Garbieh in Egypt on the 20th of February 1883. About twenty years prior to this date his father, Josef Salem, had emigrated there from Damascus, Syria, to do commercial business. Josef Salem died in 1896 and left behind two minor children, George and Marie. These children were entrusted to the guardianship of Goubran (Gubrail, Gabriel) Salem, the childless brother of the deceased, who had also emigrated from Damascus to Egypt


and was living at Mehalla. Goubran took possession of the inheritance, of his brother and looked after the education of the children. The family including two sisters of Josef and Goubran, Fadwa, who is married to Dr. Nicolas Hawara, and Selma (Salma) Salem belong to the Greek Church.

George Salem, after having been taught at several schools in Egypt and Syria, partly foreign and partly native, and finally at the Khedivial Agricultural School at Gizeh, went in 1903 to the United States of America. He studied at the Missouri State University at Columbia, Missouri, and graduated in 1905 with the degree of bachelor of science in agriculture. From 1905 to 1907 he worked as an agricultural expert with the Holt Manufacturing Company at Stockton, California; from 1907 to 1909 he was employed in the same position with the Reed Allan Realty Company of Chicago, Illinois, and his yearly income was 5,000 dollars and travelling expenses in addition. On the 18th of December 1908 he was naturalized as an American citizen before the superior court of Cook County, at Chicago, having stated he was an Egyptian subject.

In 1909 George Salem returned to Egypt with an American passport. On the 20th of November of this year he was registered at the native court in Cairo as an agricultural expert. As such he carried out some work during the following years and on the 17th of January 1918 he was suspended from office for six months for some irregularities, by a judgment of the above-mentioned court confirmed in the second instance. On the 1st July 1912 he took a position as secretary to the Khedivial Agricultural Society in Cairo, but in October 1913 he was dismissed. Thereafter with the exception of several journeys he lived in Cairo or with his Uncle Goubran, who employed him in the administration of his large cotton fields.

In order not to endanger his rights as an American citizen through too long residence in Egypt, George Salem

endeavoured to get a position as agricultural expert with the American Agent in Egypt or to be attached in some position or other to the American consular service in the Near East. But his endeavours were without result and he was compelled to return to America in 1911 to have his passport renewed. In 1913, George Salem was implicated in a criminal process in which he referred to his being an American citizen. The Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, therefore, asked the American Diplomatic Agent and Consul General at Cairo whether the consular authorities of the United States considered George Salem as an American citizen under their administration. The Agent, after receiving instructions from the State Department in Washington, answered by letter of July 9, 1913, that his Government considered that a presumption of expatriation had now arisen against Mr. Salem under the provision of section 2 of the act of March 2, 1907, and that he was therefore no longer entitled to protection as an American citizen. This answer was communicated to the authorities of the Province of Garbieh with instructions to treat George Salem as a local subject.

During a new visit to the United States in 1913, Salem procured an American passport dated July 16, 1913, and valid for one year. He had alleged before the Department of State at Washington that, at the time of his naturalization in 1908, he was neither an Egyptian local subject nor an Ottoman subject, but a Persian subject. In view of the documents produced by Salem the Department of State resolved that the period of continued residence in a foreign country provided by the act of 1907 as implying the presumption of expatriation was, in the case of Salem, not that of two years as applicable to an Egyptian who is a naturalized American citizen and has returned to Egypt, but that of five years applicable to a naturalized American citizen who takes up his residence in a foreign country other than his state of origin. The Department informed the Diplomatic Agent of its resolution and the

Agent, by a letter of August 24, 1913, passed the information to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Cairo, adding that he had registered Salem as an American citizen, entitled to the protection of this Agency and Consulate General. At the same time, Salem got a certificate of American citizenship. But when he referred to this citizenship during the criminal procedure, producing the passport of July 16, 1913, and the consular certificate, the Egyptian authorities doubted at first the validity of the passport and retained it; after hearing from the American Agent Arnold, on the 6th November 1913, that the passport was valid and George Salem an American subject, they returned the passport to the Agent, but at the same time the Egyptian Minister for Foreign Affairs informed the Agent in his letter of the 2nd December 1913 that his Government must reserve all objections regarding the real nationality of George Salem before he was naturalized in America.

Since the passport of July 16, 1913, was only valid for one year Salem returned again to the United States in 1914 in order to have it renewed. To get the permission. of a permanent stay in Egypt, he requested his Uncle Goubran to write a letter to the American Agent in Cairo. In this letter dated January 23, 1914, Goubran stated that George was the heir of all his family's fortune, that he, Goubran, himself was very old and had great need of him, that George was the only one in his family to be put in charge of his business affairs and that, therefore, George ought to be allowed to live in any place he liked in order that he might be able to look after those affairs. But neither of these steps taken by George Salem brought him to the desired end.

The outbreak of the World War hindered George Salem from making new journeys to the United States.

In 1915 George Salem was again mixed up in a criminal process. At a demand of the provincial authorities the Egyptian Foreign Office answered that the Egyptian Government could not dispute the American nationality

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