Draft submitted to Department of State by the French Ambassador and the Spanish Chargé, October 19, 1908.
note sent to mulai hafid by the powers, november 18, 1908.
The signatory Governments to the act of Algeciras have received a letter dated September 6 last which Mulai Hafid sent them through the dean of the diplomatic corps at Tangier, and by which he announced that, having been proclaimed by all the inhabitants of the Empire of Moghreb, he demanded recognition by the powers as the Sultan of Morocco. He offered at the same time to recognize all the public conventions concluded with the powers by his predecessor, and especially the convention of Algeciras, as well as all the regulations and decisions in which the diplomatic corps at Tangier intervened to assure the execution of that act.
The Governments of the countries represented at Morocco have received with satisfaction the spontaneous declaration of Mulai Hafid, which merits their approval.
But in order to avoid in the future all erroneous interpretation of the extent of his words, they believe they should state exactly the meaning and expressly deduce therefrom the results, in the interest of the relations of friendship and confidence which they wish to maintain with the sovereign authority of the shereefian empire.
They consider that in accepting the treaties concluded by his predecessors with the different powers Mulai Hafid adheres to all the provisions of the Algeciras act as well as to all the regulations of application provided by this act and established or approved by the diplomatic corps at Tangier, to the commissions instituted in virtue of these regulations, to the shereefian decisions and measures, of whatever character, made upon this subject, to the engagement and obligations of every kind resulting from arrangements with the diplomatic corps at Tangier or from regular contracts with individuals.
Mulai Hafid assumes, consequently, the responsibility for the debts contracted by Abd el Aziz up to the day when the latter, in view of his renunciation of the throne, began negotiations through the medium of Menebbhi. However, debts which may have been signed for the benefit of individuals shall be submitted to a verification the conditions of which shall be determined later on the basis of the act of Algeciras.
One of the principal conditions of the maintenance of order is the agreement in relation to the shereefian police in ports and the mandate which, with the approval of the other powers, has been given temporarily to France and Spain to watch over maritime contraband traffic in arms. It is understood that these guaranties shall in no wise be invaded by the shereefian authority.
On the other hand, Abd el Aziz having called the meeting at Casablanca of an international commission charged with regulating the indemnities due by the Moroccan Government on account of damages [Page 649] caused by the troubles which have arisen in that region, and this measure having received the consent of the powers which have sent their delegates, it is necessary that the commission begin again within the shortest possible time, and with the same powers as formerly, its work which has been momentarily interrupted.
Another consequence of the acceptance of the treaties is the obligation of the Sultan to do whatever is necessary in order to bring security to his subjects and the foreign colonies in all the regions of the Empire. It is proper, consequently, to proceed in harmony with the act of Algeciras, to take all indispensable measures to guarantee the safety and liberty of communications, in such a manner as to permit of the establishment of a stable government, which shall be proper to the interest of all. It is proper also that Mulai Hafid should make this known to the people of Morocco in an official manner, telling them at the same time that his desire is to maintain with all countries and their nationals relations in accordance with the law of nations, such as should exist between friendly countries which mutually respect one another.
These questions are those which interest all the powers. There are others which concern only certain of them. In recognizing a new Sultan, no power renounces its right to follow up with him the settlement of the questions which concern exclusively each individual power.
In this way France and Spain have declared that they reserve the right to follow up directly with the Makhzen reimbursement for the expenses which they have made to assure peace in certain regions of Morocco by means of necessary military expeditions. France and Spain, as well as other powers which find themselves in the same position, will likewise treat with the Makhzen concerning the question of indemnities due for the murder of their nationals.
If, as the powers have all understood upon reading the letter of Mulai Hafid, these explanations agree exactly with his idea, they ask him to inform them thereof in express terms, so that they may recognize him as the legitimate Sultan of Morocco. They beg him to transmit this reply through the dean of the diplomatic corps at Tangier.
They do not doubt that he understands that he owes to his brother, Abd el Aziz, the means of living as becomes a prince who is close to him and who has occupied the imperial throne of his ancestors. They trust, too, that he will treat fairly the officials who formed part of the Makhzen of Abd el Aziz.