No. 636.
Mr. Reed to Mr. Evarts.

No. 39.]

Sir: At the instance of his excellency the minister of state, I have the honor to inclose herewith, for your information, a copy and translation of a note addressed to his excellency Antonio Canovas del Castillo by Sid Mohammed Vargas, minister for foreign affairs of the Empire of Morocco, containing the answer of the Sultan to the “memorandum addressed to him by the diplomatic conference lately held in Madrid relative to religious liberty in his empire.

A copy and translation of Mr. Elduayen’s note, transmitting the above-mentioned communication, is also inclosed for your further information.

I have, &c.

[Appendix C in No. 39.—Translation.]

Señor Elduayen to Mr. Reed.

My Dear Sir: I have the honor to send yon for the information of the Government of the United States, the inclosed copy of a translation of a letter addressed by the minister for foreign affairs of His Sheriffian Majesty to Señor Don Antonio Canovas del Castillo, who had the honor to act as president of the diplomatic conference held at Madrid, for the discussion of certain questions relating to the empire of Morocco.

As you will be pleased to observe, the letter of Sid Mohammed Vargas is an answer from the Sultan, though not very explicit, to the memorandum relative to the religious question in that empire, which by the request of the governments represented in the conference was submitted by Mr. Canovas to the consideration of the Government of Morocco on the 26th June last, and for this reason I have thought proper to acquaint the cabinet at Washington, through the legation under your worthy charge, of the orders and purposes of His Sheriffian Majesty as therein expressed.

I avail, &c.,

[Page 1042]
[Appendix D in No. 39.—Translation.]

Praise be to the only God:

To our friend the most prudent and distinguished gentleman, the illustrious president of the council of ministers of His Majesty the King of Spain, ex-president of the conference held at Madrid to treat of the question of protection in Morocco, his excellency Señor. Don Antonio Canovas del Castillo.

We incessantly interest ourselves for your welfare, praying that the Almighty will preserve you in good health.

Know, O my friend, that we hasten to write you to inform you that our sovereign (may God favor him) has read the memorandum which was sent to us, through you, by the plenipotentiaries assembled at Madrid, and has studied it with the utmost attention, not only on account of the elevated source from whence it came, but also owing to its contents, in conformity with the precepts of his ancestors (may God have sanctified them), and the orders lately given by him to his authorities.

You, as president, and also the other plenipotentiaries, will have heard with satisfaction the letter from His most Sheriffian Majesty which I have read to you, for according to it, it is impossible His Majesty’s subjects should not obtain justice, even if their religion be different to that prevailing in Morocco. They possess also a resource which the Mussulmans do not, namely, to appeal in their difficulties to the minister for foreign affairs of His Sheriffian Majesty.

You stated on reading the communication sent to you by the minister for foreign affairs of his holiness, that the free practice of the Christian religion is assured by the Spanish treaty of 1861, and by the English treaty of 1856.

It is our duty to add, in the name of our master the Sultan (whom may God favor), that not only has no impediment been put in the way of the free practice of the above mentioned religion, either in other times or in the present moment, but that its representatives, the Franciscan friars, who have been from ancient times under the protection of Spain, have on that account and owing to their individual merits been always respected and treated with consideration. The same gracious concessions are made to them now as at other times, a dwelling being provided for them, and for the practice of their religion. It is likewise publicly known that those who follow the Jewish religion, whether they be the subjects of our master (whom may God favor) or foreigners, are likewise always respected in the domains of our sovereign, and practice their creed with perfect freedom; it is an agreement made with them, and all agreements should be kept.

Before closing this letter, we fulfill our duty in thanking you in the name of our master (may God favor him) for the unprejudiced manner in which you directed the labors of the conference lately held at Madrid, and begging you to assure their excellencies, the plenipotentiaries who took part in the conference, of our consideration and respect for them, and entreating Allah to preserve you all in good health and keep you long in your elevated posts, and reckoning on your friendship and peace.

[Appendix E in No. 39.]

Mr. Reed to Señor Elduayen.

Excellency: I have the honor to acknowledge the reception of your excellency’s note of the 11th instant, in which you were good enough to inclose a copy in translation of a note addressed by Sid Mohammed Vargas to his excellency Señor Don Antonio Canovas del Castillo, president of His Catholic Majesty’s council of ministers and ex-president of the diplomatic conference lately held in Madrid, and which is in answer to the “memorandum” addressed by the conference to the Sultan of Morocco, relating to religious liberty in his empire.

In obedience to the desire expressed by your excellency, I have forwarded a copy of said note to Washington for the information of my government.

I gladly avail myself of this occasion to offer to your excellency a renewed assurance of my most distinguished consideration.