File No. 2151/223–224.

Secretary of Legation Philip to the Secretary of State.

No. 381.]

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.,

Hoffman Philip.


(Seal of Mulai Hafid.)

To His Excellency Count de Buisseret, minister plenipotentiary of the friendly Belgian nation.

We render praise to God, the Almighty Ruler of His creatures, in accordance with His laws and divine wisdom.

After compliments. You are aware that after we had addressed our last letter to the friendly nations, we have been proclaimed Sultan of this happy Empire, at Tangier and in other ports. This proclamation, which has been for long hidden in the hearts of our subjects, has followed our proclamation in the capitals and in the interior of the country. Consequently we are obliged to exercise our sovereign rights in this Empire and to take the necessary measures to establish the security of our subjects and to those of the friendly powers. Likewise his proclamation renders it specially necessary for us to carry out the agreement which was arrived at between the Moorish Government and the friendly powers by means of the conference of Algeciras, and to put into effect such administrative measures as were provided by the said agreement.

You will be aware that we will be unable to carry out these obligations as long as our representatives at Tangier, who are charged by us to deliberate jointly with the diplomatic corps and to put the measures agreed upon into execution, for the welfare of the country, are not recognized by the friendly powers as the representatives of our Majesty: and you will realize what harm to the contrary results from this state of affairs.

[Page 647]

We therefore beg your excellency to inform the honorable representatives of the friendly powers of the above so that they will bring the same to the knowledge of their respective Governments, to enable them to come to an agreement and recognize us as Sultan of this Empire, informing us of their decision through you.

We have no need to dwell on the subject longer. Nevertheless, God Almighty having guarded this fortunate Empire and having dilated the hearts of our subjects to recognize our Majesty and to proclaim us Sultan of the Empire, which has solid relations and well-established rights with all the friendly powers; we declare that we recognize the treaties concluded between our predecessors and the friendly nations, especially the general act of Algeciras, which we look upon as the foundation of prosperity and happy advancement of this Empire, politically as well as economically, owing to the fact that the said act guarantees, on the one side, the independence of this Empire, and, on the other, the establishment of useful reforms.

We trust that the friendly powers will advance us their support, both in the deliberations concerning these reforms, on which relies the prosperity and welfare of our subjects, as well as in their enforcement.

In peace.