381.11 Said, Sid Mobamed Ben

The Diplomatic Agent and Consul General at Tangier ( Denning ) to the Secretary of State

No. 20

Sir: At the request of the “Vacuum Oil Company,” this Agency granted, some time ago, a semsarship to Sid Mohamed Ben Said of Salee. To this, the authorities of the French Protectorate first objected, on the ground that Salee and Rabat were really the same place, and when this matter was adjusted, there was further objection that the aforementioned was a notary of public, and so a public functionary, a fact which would debar him from becoming a protégé. Although the Agency felt that this was very technical, a notary being merely a municipal appointee, and not in any real sense, a public functionary, Sid Mohamed Ben Said was instructed to relinquish his office of notary. This was done. Then, under date of July 3, 1922, the French Residency addressed a Note to me dealing [Page 597] both with the case of Sid Mohamed Ben Said and Sid Taibi Ben Tahami Haddawee. I enclose copy of this Note and my reply thereto, dated respectively July 3, 1922 and July 19, 1922.14

Therein, the Protectorate authorities, acting presumably as the Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Moorish Government, now affirm that the Government cannot give its consent to the semsarship of Sid Mohamed Ben Said, because he and his family have opposed and continue to oppose the authority of the Protectorate, and because, therefore, as it claims, this protection would only be used, by Sid Mohamed Ben Said, to secure immunity for his political activities, and not to forward the business of the “Vacuum Oil Company” which, in the opinion of the French authorities, is adequately cared for by the firm of Coriat of Rabat. (Rabat is just across a river from Salee, but is a distinct municipality).

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I have [etc.]

J. M. Denning
  1. Notes not printed.