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

No. 107

Sir: I have the honor to enclose herewith for the information of the Department, a copy of the communication which I have addressed to the President of the International Commission of the Lighthouse at Cape Spartel, in pursuance of the Department’s telegraphic Instruction No. 4 of May 17th, 1926, 2 p.m.

I have [etc.]

Maxwell Blake

The American Diplomatic Agent and Consul General at Tangier ( Blake ) to the Belgian Consul General at Tangier and President of the International Commission of Cape Spartel Lighthouse ( Watteeuw )

Mr. President: I have the honor hereby to inform you of the position taken by my Government concerning the subjects raised in the questionnaire, drawn up in pursuance of a resolution passed at the meeting of the International Commission of the Lighthouse at Cape Spartel, on April 15th, last.

The Government of the United States will acquiesce in the acceptance, by the International Commission of Cape Spartel Lighthouse, of the assistance offered by the General Direction of Public Works of the Shereefian Government, in regard to the drawing up of the projects, of the calls for bids, and of the definition of contract specifications, and also in connection with the examination of tenders, the [Page 754] adjudication of contracts, and the direction of the execution of the works, for the improvements to the light at Cape Spartel. It must be understood however that the acceptance of such assistance is strictly subject to the following reservations of principle:—

That the technical and administrative operations in question must be carried out by the Maghzen functionaries, in the name of the International Commission of Cape Spartel Lighthouse, and that the dispositions taken in this connection must previously be submitted to and receive the express approval of the Commission, and be carried out in conditions laid down by the latter, under procedure similar to that which was contemplated in 1914 with the assistance of the International Technical Commission.
That the accepted cooperation of the Maghzen service with the International Commission, on the present occasion cannot imply a permanent delegation, to the former, of any measure of the latter’s authority or functions, and that it cannot be held to prejudice the existing rights of the International Commission to base its decisions and action, upon the advice of the competent departments of the various Governments, which are signatories of the Convention of 1865.

My Government is of the opinion that the Diaphone and the Siren are equally efficacious systems of sound signals, and in view of the lower cost of the latter, advocates the selection of the Siren.

In conclusion, the Government of the United States desires me to point out to the Commission that the proposal to limit the opportunity for bidding to the firms enumerated in the questionnaire, and notably the gratuitous assumption that no firms in the United States would be interested, because two American Manufacturers approached three years ago were at that time disinclined to participate in the competition, constitutes a procedure which is open to objection. However, in view of the urgency of the improvements under discussion, the American Government refrains from pressing this matter further, in the present instance, but is convinced that its observations in this regard will suffice to indicate that the American Government will not acquiesce in the adoption of such procedure in the future.

Please accept [etc.]

Maxwell Blake