File No. 881.111/1.

The American Chargé d’Affaires to the Secretary of State.

No. 370.]

Sir: In further reference to my No. 363 of February 18, 1913, I have the honor to transmit herewith a copy of the amended draft of the letter which the Chevalier de Rappard, Dean of the Diplomatic Corps, proposes to address to Sid Mohamed Ben Mohamed El Guebbass, the Sultan’s Minister for Foreign Affairs at Tangier, in answer to his communication upon the subject of the insecurity for foreigners traveling in certain regions of the Shereefian Empire.

All my colleagues have expressed their approval of the draft herewith submitted, with the exception of the Chargé d’Affaires of Belgium, who stated that he was referring the matter to his Government for instructions, my own annotation being of a similar nature.

The Department will observe that in the reply proposed by the Dean of the Diplomatic Corps to the Sultan’s Foreign Minister, a clause has been introduced reserving the right for the Diplomatic Corps to determine, in each particular instance, the extent to which the responsibility of the Maghzen is involved, and I respectfully request that the Department inform me whether it deems this clause a sufficient guaranty to prevent the Maghzen from escaping its responsibility in respect to the protection of the lives and property of foreign subjects traveling or sojourning in any part of the Shereefian Empire.

In view of the urgency attached to the matter by the Dean of the Diplomatic Corps, I would respectfully request that the Department communicate its reply by cable.

I have [etc.]

Maxwell Blake.
[Page 1015]


After usual compliments:

The Diplomatic Body has been informed with great interest of the contents of your letter of the 10th Moharrem 1331 (December 20, 1912) in which your excellency requested us to warn our subjects that certain parts of the Shereefian territory, specified in the above-mentioned letter, are disturbed.

Although the treaties grant to foreigners the right to travel everywhere in Morocco and although the Diplomatic Body reserves to itself the right to consider, in each particular case, up to what point the responsibility of the Maghzen should be deemed to be exonerated, it recognises the difficulties which the Shereefian Government may experience in answering for the security of foreigners who should venture into certain districts.

Appreciating the anxiety shown by the Maghzen to watch over the security of foreigners in certain regions named, the representatives of the Powers have drawn the attention of their nationals to the parts of the Empire which they will do better to avoid for the moment.

Referring to the passage of the letter of your excellency in which it is declared that the list drawn up by the Maghzen may be modified in proportion to the progress of pacification, the Diplomatic Corps observes that this list is conceived in very vague terms and draws the attention of your excellency to the advantage there would be to define, if it were possible, in a more precise manner the regions where the insecurity is real, notably as far as concerns the communications between the large towns.