No. 643.
Mr. Fairchild to Mr. Evarts.

No. 106.]

Sir: Referring to your instructions No. 80, of November 12, 1880, I have the honor to inform you that Colonel Mathews, consul at Tangiers, has transmitted to me much new and interesting (and horrible) information regarding the outrageous treatment which the Jews in Morocco continue to receive.

It seems that the promises of the Sultan have not been kept, and that it is almost impossible to procure the punishment of the officials who are known to be guilty of the crimes of unjustifiably inflicting heavy fines, imprisonment, and severe whippings, even to the death, upon the unhappy victims of their hatred.

At a meeting of the foreign representatives lately held at Tangier, it was agreed to present to the Sultan’s prime minister, Sid Mohamed Bargash, a collective note of protest against the actions of Moorish officials in this regard.

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[Page 1048]

I suppose the consul at Tangier sends to the Department the same information with which he favors this legation, but, lest I may be mistaken, I inclose a literal copy of the collective note of protest above referred to, as it concisely tells the story of the present situation of affairs in Morocco.

I have, &c.,

[Inclosure in 106.]

Project of collective note to be addressed to Sid Mohamed Bargash.

It is with extreme regret that the undersigned representatives have the honor to request that you will make known to His Majesty the Sultan, that they cannot any longer abstain from expressing their dissatisfaction and that of their governments themselves, seeing, as they do, that neither the principles of civilization and humanity which His Sheriffian Majesty had declared his willingness to adopt forthwith, nor the promises made by His Majesty through you, for the better administration of his Jewish subjects and the repression of crime throughout the whole extent of this empire, have hitherto been applied in any case.

The Emperor’s missive of the 22 Jannenadi 1st, 1297,* concerning the amelioration of the condition of the Jews, which you yourself read out to the plenipotentiaries at the Madrid conference, and the letter which, by order of the Sultan, you sent to the president of the council of ministers in Spain, for communication to all the cabinets, have been received with satisfaction by the foreign governments as a manifestation of His Sheriffian Majesty’s feelings. But it has not come to the knowledge of the undersigned representatives that any useful measure has hitherto been taken for the fulfillment of these promises.

We have not heard that the orders announced as about to be given to the governors of towns, as well as of the interior, have ever been transmitted to these functionaries, or at least, if given, that any attention had been paid them by the latter.

Since the closing of the conference at Madrid, the undersigned are informed of fourteen cases of murder and other odious crimes perpetrated upon Jews, all of which have been brought under your notice, and yet, with the exception of some temporary arrests, we have not heard of a single instance where the exemplary punishment deserved has ever been inflicted on the guilty parties; neither have we heard of the Sultan’s having expressed his dissatisfaction to the governors of provinces where these crimes were committed, nor that any of them ever was subjected to a removal from office or even to a single disgrace.

The undersigned do not think, nor yet are willing to believe, that rumors concerning the perpetration of these crimes reach the Sultan’s ear; they prefer the supposition that the functionaries who surround him conceal facts from His Majesty, leading him to believe that his orders have been carried out.

The undersigned cannot help making the most unpleasant comparisons between the general condition of the country two years ago and its present actual state. Crimes have increased in a proportion of one to twelve; it is not Jews alone who, unoffensively, are pillaged and massacred. We know that, in less than six months, more than one hundred Mussulmans have been assassinated, notwithstanding the latter’s being armed and in a position to defend themselves.

The safety of life and property of Christians themselves is jeopardized, since crimes become general and remain unpunished, throughout the whole empire of the sheriff.

Out of respect for His Majesty, the undersigned hesitate to express their opinion as to the nature of punishment to be inflicted on murderers and other criminals, and the penalties or indemnities which should be suffered by governors who are incapable of securing the arrest of, or even expose malefactors, in order to show the Sultan’s subjects, as well as to foreign powers, that His Majesty’s government has the power as well as the wish to repress crimes and extend its protection and justice over all its subjects, whether Mussulmans or not.

The moment has come when prompt and decisive action should be taken. The undersigned have pleasure in repeating the assurances that they entertain the most profound respect and cordiality of sentiment and friendship towards His Majesty Mulay Hassan, whose happiness and independence they wish, but they also entertain the hope that the act whereby they clearly place before His Majesty the deplorable state of the [Page 1049] country, caused by the increase of crime, may be considered by His Majesty as a further proof of the interest which they take in the prosperity of the sovereign and his empire.

The undersigned beg that you will directly, and without delay, place this note Tinder the eyes of His Sheriffian Majesty.

  1. May 2, 1880.