Minister Collier to the Secretary of State.

No. 53.]

Sir: I have the honor to confirm my telegram of to-day, which reads as follows:

Spanish Government extends informal invitation to the United States to attend Algeciras conference to convene December 15. Formal invitation will be sent when the Sultan of Morocco acquiescence of this date has been received; every reason to expect the Sultan to acquiesce, but unavoidable delay in receiving acquiescence.

The under secretary of state, in extending this invitation on behalf of the Spanish Government, has explained that it is to be regarded as an informal and semiofficial invitation and a preparatory notification of the date fixed by Spain for the convening of the conference at Algeciras, which will be ratified with little doubt by the formal and official invitation which etiquette forbids being transmitted until the Sultan of Morocco’s formal acquiescence in the date has been received. The difficulty of communicating with the seat of the Moroccan Government at Fez will cause undoubted delay, and an answer from the Sultan to the Spanish Government’s proposal of December 15 as the date for convening the congress can hardly be expected much before December 5.

This semiofficial invitation, therefore, is to give the powers more time to make preparations for the conference. There is no reason to suppose that the Sultan will refuse to approve of the date fixed by Spain, but, at the most, a delay of a few days only may be suggested, the intervening time being somewhat short. On the other hand, the expected arrival of the Moroccan delegates to the conference at Algeciras on or about the 28th of this month would seem to indicate without doubt the Sultan’s acquiescence in the date fixed by Spain.

I have, etc.,

Wm. Miller Collier.