File No. 2151/223–224.
Secretary of Legation Philip to the Secretary of State.
Tangier , September 15, 1908 .
Sir: I have the honor to transmit herewith translations in French (from the Decanat) and English of an Arabic letter received from the Sultan, Mulai Hafid, by the dean of the diplomatic corps at Tangier on the 12th instant, which has only just reached me. No [Page 646] action has as yet been taken here as a result of this communication, the receipt of which has been notified to the various Governments concerned by their representatives.
As will be seen by the contents of the above letter, it consists of a formal request for recognition as Sultan, by the powers signatories of the Algeciras act; a complete acceptance of the conditions of the said act and of all existing treaties made between, the powers and the predecessors of Mulai Hafid, and requests the cooperation and assistance of the powers in establishing and applying the reforms decided upon, for the development of the country and for the mutual benefit of all foreign nationals and the subjects of Morocco.
Thinking it important to inform the department of the receipt of the said letter without delay, I obtained the gist of its contents from one of my colleagues and telegraphed yesterday, the 14th instant, what appeared to me of chief importance, namely, the request for recognition by Mulai Hafid, adhesion to the Algeciras act and to treaties and other engagements entered into by the predecessors of Mulai Hafid and foreign powers. I also reported at the same time the death of Hadj Mohamed Ben Arby Torres, the late Moorish minister for foreign affairs at Tangier.
I beg to state that subsequent to a very careful perusal of the text of the Arabic letter, it appears that no actual mention is made of the adhesion of other existing engagements or encumbrances upon the Moorish Government than those implied by treaties only.
On consideration, however, I have decided that the wording of my telegram of the 14th instant, though including the words “other engagements,” is not such as to create a misunderstanding on the part of the department, and I have therefore refrained from sending an additional explanatory message in regard to this statement which was made upon what I considered absolutely reliable information.
I am, etc.,