File No. 2151/65.

The French Chargé to the Secretary of State.


Mr. Secretary of State: The regulations relative to the organization and functions of the Moorish police, as well as the specifications for the assignment of clothing and equipment contracts, having been approved by the Maghzen, the type of guns (French model) having also been selected by the Shereefian Government, and the requisite credits for the fiscal year 1907 having been opened by the State Bank, all the preliminary formalities attendant upon the creation of the new body of troops have now been fulfilled. The present juncture makes it particularly desirable that the measures of this character provided for in the general act of Algeciras be promptly carried out. The foreign residents of the cities on the coast are everywhere threatened or alarmed by the demonstrations of the tribes, the inaction or notorious impotence of the local authorities, and, lastly, by the undisciplined state of the Shereefian garrisons.

The French and Spanish governments have fulfilled the international mission with which they were entrusted by assuming, with the unanimous assent of the powers, the protection of foreigners in Morocco since the recent events. They are therefore giving earnest attention to the earliest possible establishment of adequate police forces for the effective protection of the residents of every nationality in their lives and interests. Their representatives in Tangier have just handed to the Shereefian minister of war a note by which they asked to be given an official assurance that he held sufficient powers to organize the police immediately, particularly to recruit the men, and to guarantee personally that the force assembled by him would be faithful and disciplined, our instructors thus being secure on his personal responsibility.

In making this communication to the Moorish minister, Mr. de St. Aulaire and Mr. Llaveria explained to him the import of the guarantee their governments expected of him; they wished to be assured, on his surety, that the instructors would not be in danger of being abandoned or massacred by their men.

Si Mohammed El Guebbas replied that it was impossible for him to give so formal an assurance.

Upon this declaration the two governments, bound to insure the safety of foreigners in the ports, must provide means of organizing, provisionally, but without further delay, a body of police out of their own resources—that is to say, their military strength. The government of the republic is therefore about to arrange with the Spanish Government the manner of carrying out that organization, which is the most pressing need of the moment. The two governments, however, consider this to be a temporary measure demanded by the present conditions, and that the presence of Franco-Spanish troops in the coast towns where it is found to be necessary will facilitate the formation of Moorish bodies of police, as provided at Algeciras; [Page 898] the instructors will endeavor to impart speedily to the Moorish corps the military discipline and valor without which there can be no assurance of order.

Be pleased, etc.,

Des Portes.