File No. 881.00/634
The French Ambassador to the Secretary of State
Washington, January 8, 1917.
My dear Mr. Secretary: Answering your letter of the 2d instant, I beg to assure you that my Government fully appreciates [Page 1094]the sentiment which prompted you to propose that the recognition by the United States of our protectorate in Morocco be now made definitive by a formal note of yours, while you would at the same time recommend that the item of salary for the American representative in that country be changed from one for a Minister to one for a Diplomatic Agent. These suggestions are accepted with a satisfaction enhanced by the motives which inspired them.
As for the abrogation of capitulations, while we have no objection to the matter being separately considered, we earnestly desire, as you know, that it be taken up at once, so that we could sign the convention referred to in previous correspondence, e. g., in my letter of August 26,3 the matter to be dealt with by the Senate as soon as circumstances will allow.
You will kindly remember that almost all countries interested therein have already consented to such an abrogation; among them Russia, Spain, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Greece, Portugal, Japan, Italy, Denmark, Belgium, Holland. Austria-Hungary had assented a few weeks before the war declared on us by her ally, Germany, put an end for both to the régime of capitulations in Morocco.
I hope you may find it possible to agree to this desire of my Government, taking into account the fact that the American recognition of our Protectorate will have its effects only when this question is settled and this other fact that the American interests at stake are of very limited importance and are sure to be amply protected under the system introduced by us in the Sheriffian State.
Believe me [etc.]