File No. 881.00/638
The Spanish Ambassador to the Secretary of State
Washington, July 25, 1917.
Mr. Secretary: I have the honor to apprize your excellency that for about three years there have been in operation at Tetuan, Larache and other points in the Spanish sphere of influence in Morocco, courts of justice consisting of Spanish magistrates and offering the same guaranties as any other court in the peninsula with respect to the trial of Europeans.
The suppression of the capitulation régime must necessarily go with the existence and operation of the said tribunals since the régime finds its excuse for being in those countries only where there are no courts acquainted with the European and American laws and then serves as a safeguard to foreigners who are thus saved from trials under laws enacted by a race different from theirs and living in a much belated intellectual atmosphere.
These reasons sufficed to France, Belguim, Russia, Italy, Switzerland, Denmark, Sweden and several other countries to renounce the [Page 1096]said capitulation régime and privileges in the Spanish sphere of influence in Morocco and in compliance with instructions received I have the honor to apply to your excellency and to express to you how highly gratified His Majesty’s Government would be if the Government of the United States would likewise renounce the capitulation régime in the Spanish sphere of influence in Morocco and by such renunciation recognize the said Spanish Zone as has already been done by the nations above cited.
I avail myself [etc.]