The Ambassador in Spain ( Hammond ) to the Secretary of State
[Received 8:33 p.m.]
66. Department’s 44, August 31, 6 p.m. Upon my handing a note in the sense of the instruction above-mentioned to the Minister of State, the latter stated that he as well as the Spanish Government deeply appreciated the attitude of the American Government in the premises and that he felt that the presence of the United States (a power disinterested politically) at a conference of this nature would be of the greatest help as an influence toward a fair settlement of [Page 740] an extremely difficult problem. He said that Spain would continue her efforts to bring about a conference of the signatories of the Treaty of Algeciras although the connection between this question and that of a permanent seat for Spain in the Council of the League had ceased to exist. Both questions would be decided separately on their merits and there was therefore no longer any real special haste in calling a conference.
When I asked him about the attitude of the other great powers interested in the Moroccan question he said that Italy was openly favorable to a conference, that the attitude of Great Britain was reserved, but that the British admitted in principle the validity of the reasons offered for proposing changes in the Statute of Tangier in Spain’s favor, while the French, although they admitted the justification of Spain’s call for a conference of the signatories of the Act of Algeciras, wished to postpone it for some time and possibly to nullify its benefits by calling for a previous arrangement between France, Spain, and Great Britain which should deal with the question on the basis of the treaty of 1912 and the Statute of Tangier of 1923, with this agreement to be placed before the conference for acceptance.
On the subject of the League of Nations, Yanguas said that Spain would dissociate herself from the League by a note which would be presented when the Assembly convened on September 6th.
He went on to say that this action made it more desirable than ever for Spain to strengthen the ties of friendship which united her to the United States and to the Latin American countries.
Copies have been forwarded by mail to Paris, London, Rome, and Tangier.