File No. 295/307–310.

The Acting Secretary of State to Minister Dodge.

No. 12.]

Sir: I have to acknowledge the receipt of your No. 21, of the 17th ultimo,1 transmitting reports of three conferences held at Fez in March last by the French and Spanish ministers and the delegates of the Sultan in regard to the execution of some of the provisions of the act of Algeciras. It would seem that the matters considered at these conferences in which this Government may be regarded as having a direct concern are as follows:

That portion which has to do with the regulation of the right of foreigners to hold real property in Morocco. The department understands from the discussion of this matter that American citizens will be accorded the same rights in this matter that will be extended to the citizens of the other powers. If this be true it would seem that as to this there would be nothing concerning which the department would care to object.
Regarding the suggestion of the delegates of the Sultan that parcels received at Tangier by the ministers of the powers should be examined, apparently by the customs authorities, in order to ascertain whether or not they contain contraband, and the reply of the ministers to this suggestion that “the contents of such parcels can be ascertained from the customs declarations, that this is a customary diplomatic privilege, and that the Maghzen, if it desired, should address the diplomatic corps through its dean,” the department is inclined to regard the answer thus stated as sufficiently setting forth the views of the department on this matter.

A third point in which the department is interested is that which indicates that the representatives of the other powers seem to be under the impression that the expenses of the delegates of the various powers to the Casablanca Claims Commission should be paid by the Shereefian Government. The United States has heretofore proceeded on the assumption that it was to pay the expenses of its delegate and accordingly has made provision for the retention of 5 per cent of the amounts awarded by the commission to American citizens, or so much thereof as might be necessary, in order to defray the expenses of its representative on that commission. It would seem, however, that if the other powers are to have the expenses of their delegates paid by the Shereefian Government, the United States should receive similar treatment. The department feels, however, that this matter might well be left for the arrangement of the powers more interested in it, the department contenting itself with demanding the treatment accorded to the most-favored nation when the matter shall be finally settled.

You are requested to keep yourself informed regarding any phase of the discussion which could in any way directly affect American citizens, and particularly regarding the expenses of the various delegates to the Casablanca Claim Commission.

I am, etc.,

Alvey A. Adee.
  1. Not printed.