File No. 2151/299–300.

Minister Gummeré to the Secretary of State.

Sir: I have the honor to confirm my telegram to the department of this date, reporting that a reply to the collective note of the powers presented to Mulai Hafid by the dean of the foreign representatives at Tangier, has been received, in which all the conditions of the said note have been accepted without reserve, with the exception of a slight reservation as to the verification of the debts owing by the Moorish Government to various persons.

I have the honor to report further that on the evening of the 5th instant, a letter from the dean was circulated among the diplomatic body, announcing that the reply of Mulai Hafid had been received, and requesting that interpreters of the various legations should meet at the Belgian Legation at 9 o’clock the next morning for the purpose of translating the same, and calling for a meeting of the diplomatic body at the said legation at 3 p.m., of the same day, for the purpose of considering the said reply of Mulai Hafid. At that hour, accordingly, the said meeting of the diplomatic body was held, and the [Page 653] letter of Mulai Hafid, together with the official translation thereof, was submitted to them by the dean. As reported to the department in my telegram, in his said reply Mulai Hafid accepts all the terms of the collective note of the powers, without reservation, except a slight one as to the verification of certain debts. It was unanimously decided by the diplomatic representatives that the said reservation was unimportant and that the official translation of Mulai Hafid’s reply should be at once submitted to their respective Governments for their consideration and action thereon. I have the honor to inclose herewith a copy of the said official translation for the department’s consideration. The action of the various Governments in the matter will be reported to the department, and, as directed by the department, I will confer with the dean as to the form and manner of the recognition of the new Sultan, by the United States, in case the same is agreed upon by the powers, reporting to the department by cable as to details.

I am, etc.,

S. R. Gummeré.


(Great seal of Mulai Abd el Hafid.)

Peace be to God alone. There is no might or strength but in God, the very High and Great.

To the intelligent and wise friend who is seeking the good of the two friendly and powerful Governments, the minister of the respected Government of Belgium, dean of the honorable diplomatic corps at Tangier (the well guarded), Count Conrad de Buisseret.

After offering to God who brings success to all plans the full praise that is due him, we have received the letter by which you make known the intentions of the friendly powers signatory to the act of the conference of Algeciras as regards their hope that our Majesty, installed by God, will signify to them our acceptance of the points set forth in the said letter transmitted by you in behalf of all the said powers.

We have perused the contents of the letter and taken good note of all its indications expressed and implied. We have carefully examined the points therein stated and have accepted them out of respect for the agreement reached in that respect by the friendly powers. As to the question of debts, it is important to draw the attention of the powers to the necessity of verifying those debts and ascertaining their foundation. International law does hold this Empire responsible for those debts, but it is equally true that the customs, laws, and statutes of this Empire demand that the responsibility for those debts shall fall upon persons who had divided the money and used it in their commercial undertakings. This is as clear as the sun shining over the earth and needs no demonstration.

Consequently we are in duty bound to accept the responsibility for the above-mentioned debts just as it is our duty to proceed against those from whom they must be reclaimed.

We hope the friendly powers will in no wise intervene in their behalf, whatever may be the decisions reached by us. Investigation of this matter shall be carried on with the same equity as is expected of us in regard to their rights, for justice must take its course. And so, after examination of the proof relative to the debts due to individuals, after consideration of the circumstances under which they were assumed, after ascertaining their origin, cause and application in accordance with the principles established in such cases, the Maghzen stands ready to discharge, with the help of God, all such debts as shall be found to be valid under the law.

As for the military expenses of the two friendly powers, France and Spain, when they make the amount known to us, all will go well, God willing.

We are fully confident that all the friendly powers that have agreed upon sending that note to our Majesty, after adopting the points therein set forth, [Page 654] will respect the provisions relative to our private and general interests which the said powers have agreed to recognize by the act of the conference.

Our sole object is to maintain public order and to place business on a sound footing by averting in every equitable way all possible causes of disturbance.

May you all remain in peace.