The Secretary of State to the Chargé in Morocco (Rand)

No. 325

Sir: Reference is made to the Department’s instruction No. 322, of January 7, 1925,2 which transmitted to you copy of a Note, dated December 20, 1924, sent by the Department to the French Ambassador3 in reply to his Note of October 31, 1924,4 concerning the question of the adhesion of the United States to the Tangier Convention.5

As yet no answer has been made by the French, British or Spanish Governments to the Department’s Notes of December 20, 1924.3 Pending the receipt of satisfactory replies from these Governments and subsequent action thereon by this Government, the rights of the United States in the Tangier Zone are not to be regarded as modified by the application by the interested powers of the Statute of Tangier, which is understood to have gone into effect on December 1, 1924.

It is the understanding of the Department that the application of the Statute of Tangier would abolish certain commissions of which you are ex officio a member and would tend to modify certain functions which you are performing under the terms of the Act of Algeciras6 and previous treaties.

It is not the purpose of the United States to pursue a policy of obstruction in the face of the effort made by the signatory powers of the Tangier Convention to provide the Tangier Zone with a satisfactory form of government, an effort which will of necessity alter in some degree the previously existing administrative machinery.

A distinction therefore must be made between those acts of the authorities of Tangier which adversely affect substantial American [Page 591] rights and interests and those which merely involve unimportant departures from or non-observance of practices established under the Act of Algeciras and other international agreements, and which do not materially affect this Government’s interests.

Incidents of the latter sort need not be made the subject of formal complaint, but should be reported to the Department from time to time for its information. However, in cases which may be regarded as innovations upon this Government’s established rights, you should take such immediate action as the exigency of the situation may seem to demand and report the facts to the Department for instructions.

I am [etc.]

Charles E. Hughes
  1. Not printed.
  2. See Foreign Relations, 1924, vol. ii, p. 470, footnote 16.
  3. Ibid., p. 466.
  4. French text and English translation printed in Great Britain, Cmd. 2096, Morocco No. 1 (1924): Convention Regarding the Organisation of the Statute of the Tangier Zone, signed at Paris, December 18, 1923.
  5. See Foreign Relations, 1924, vol. ii, p. 470, footnote 16.
  6. Foreign Relations, 1906, pt 2, p. 1495.