381.11 Said, Sid Mohamed Ben

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

No. 266

Sir: The receipt is acknowledged of the Agency’s despatch, number 144, of June 14, 1923, in which the Department is informed that a communication has been received from the Residency General of France at Rabat, indicating that the Maghzen had refused to recognize Mohamed Ben Said as Semsar of the Vacuum Oil Company at Salee. It appears from the excerpt from the communication of June 8, 1923, quoted in the despatch under acknowledgment, that the French Residency General is under the impression that when you were at Rabat in January, 1923, you gave assurances that the name of Mohamed Ben Said would not appear on the American protection list for the year 1923.

It being the understanding of the Department that no such assurances were given to the French Residency General, you are instructed, in replying to the communication of June 8, 1923, to say that a misconception apparently exists regarding the nature of the understanding reached at Rabat and that it is your recollection that you agreed to remove Mohamed Ben Said from the list only if after investigation it was proved that he made use of American protection to further his political activities. You will add that your investigation is still in progress and that as soon as it shall have been concluded you will address a further communication to the Residency General.

Upon receipt of this instruction, you are also directed to request the principal representative of the Vacuum Oil Company in Morocco, by letter, to advise you of the amount and nature of the work actually conducted by Mohamed Ben Said on behalf of the company. You will then submit a copy of the company’s reply to the Department whereupon you will be advised of the nature of the further communication which you will address to the Residency General mentioned in the preceding paragraph.20

I am [etc.]

For the Secretary of State:
Leland Harrison
  1. The Chargé in a despatch of Sept. 11, received Oct. 2, informed the Department that it was unnecessary to continue the discussions in regard to Mohamed Ben Said, as the Vacuum Oil Co. had closed its depot at Salee and had requested the Agency to cancel Ben Said’s semsar certificate.