The Secretary of State to Ambassador White.
Washington , November 28, 1905 .
Sir: Supplementing my instruction of even date, and in connection with your functions as a representative of the United States at the Moroccan conference, it is desired that in all proper ways you shall urge upon the conference the consideration of guaranties of religious and racial tolerance in Morocco.
Concurrent testimony positively affirms the intolerance of the Mohammedan rule in that country toward non-Mussulmans in all that concerns their lives, avocations, and creeds. Jews, especially, appear to suffer from painful and injurious restrictions. I have been furnished by Mr. Jacob H. Schiff with a statement of the existing restrictions upon Moroccan Jews living in other than the harbor towns, the details of which appear well-nigh incredible and utterly at variance with any sound theory of the relation between the governing and governed classes. Were an American citizen, Jew or gentile, to suffer a tithe of such proscriptions in Morocco it would be impossible for this government to shut its eyes to their existence; and it is equally hard now to ignore them when we are called upon to enter, with Morocco as with other powers, upon the examination of schemes for bettering the relations of the Shereefian Empire with the countries to which it is bound by treaty engagements. It is alike the part of prudence and good will, on the one side as on the other, to restrain the spirit of intolerance and preclude the development of its effects into antagonism between all Mohammedans and non-Mohammedans. The powers are, it would seem, interested in seeking equality of privilege for their nationals and national interests in Morocco—not in emphasizing by the contrast of treaty discriminations in their favor, the class restrictions which weigh upon natives. To do so would but fan the popular prejudice and increase the spirit of resentment toward aliens. It is, moreover, evident that these restrictions operate to contract the field of commercial intercourse by barring a notable part of the population of Morocco from the open door of equal intercourse which we are so [Page 681] anxious to see established and by hampering the channels of barter and the opportunities of consumption and supply.
It is also evident that reform in this regard is of equal importance from the point of view of internal order and security, a matter provided for in the programme submitted for consideration by the conference. The first subject concerns the adequate policing of the interior of Morocco through an international agreement. Effective policing means and requires such change in internal conditions as will smooth away the class and caste impediments to a beneficial intercourse, remove the prejudices that exist against aliens, and render the people of Morocco receptive to the broad influences of friendly international intercourse. If on no other ground, the measures advocated in this instruction should necessarily commend themselves to the good judgment of the conferees because essentially contributory to the success of any practical scheme of interior police in Morocco.
I inclose for your information copy of a letter from Mr. Schiff communicating the statement above mentioned. It is the President’s wish that you give the subject your earnest attention and endeavor in all proper ways to impress its importance upon your colleagues in the conference.
I have, etc.,