The Ambassador in France (Herrick) to the Secretary of State35

No. 6542

Sir: With reference to my cable No. 305, August 3, 12 A.M.,36 I have the honor to transmit herewith a copy and translation of a Note dated July 29, 1926, from the Foreign Office together with the text of the Memorandum concerning the Maritime Surveillance of the Moroccan Coast from August 1, 1926.

I have [etc.]

For the Ambassador:
Sheldon Whitehouse

Counselor of Embassy

The French Ministry for Foreign Affairs to the American Embassy

On July 2 [3?], 1925, the French Government, in agreement with the Spanish Government forwarded to the interested Powers two notices37 relative to the concerted measures of the two Governments with a view to ensuring together the surveillance of the Moroccan coast.

Following another examination of the situation, the two Governments deem that a return to common law is henceforth possible, and they have set forth their agreement in the enclosed memorandum, the provisions of which will come into force on August 1, 1926.

[Page 758]

Memorandum Concerning the Maritime Surveillance of the Moroccan Coast From August 1, 1926

On the offing of the coast of French and Spanish territories, both as regards dominions and protectorates, situated to the North and West of Africa and included between the Algero-Moroccan frontier, 2°13′ West Longitude (Greenwich), and the mouth of the Oued Draa, 28°41′ North Latitude, French and Spanish warships will ensure, in the French and Spanish zones respectively, and jointly between Oued Bou Sedra and Oued Draa, that is to say between the parallels 29°31 and 28°41 North, the strict observance of the international measures and rules forbidding, on the one hand, any access to the Moroccan coast with the exception of open ports, and, on the other hand, any importation of arms, munitions and war material into Morocco. Along the entire coast the surveillance is limited to the six miles of territorial waters with the right of pursuit outside of this limit.

To this end the ships will survey and visit, if necessary, pursuant to international custom in such matters, any vessel which may be suspected, for well grounded reasons, of contravening the orders in question. This surveillance will be exercised both as regards arms, munitions and war material as well as merchandise suspected of being directed to ports or natural anchoring grounds not open to trade.

The maritime surveillance in the territorial waters of Tangier will continue to be exercised pursuant to the stipulations of Article 4 of the Convention of December 18, 1923.38

Ships and boats recognized by the surveying ships as trading in arms, munitions, war material and merchandise suspected of being directed to ports or natural anchoring grounds not open to trade, shall be brought before the competent local jurisdiction.

The present communication cancels and takes the place of the communications of July 2 [3?] 1925, on the same subject.

  1. The receipt of a similar note and memorandum from the Spanish Government was reported in telegram No. 59 of Aug. 5, noon, from the Ambassador in Spain (not printed). The following reply was sent Aug. 7, 3 p.m.: “38. Your 59, August 5, noon. At your discretion you may remind the Spanish Government that the position of this Government remains that set forth in the Department’s 43, July 31, 1925, 3 p.m. Kellogg.” (File No. 881.00/1257.) Department’s 43, July 31, 1925, not printed, but see telegram No. 297, July 31, 1925, to the Ambassador in France, Foreign Relations, 1925, vol. ii, p. 606.
  2. Not printed.
  3. Foreign Relations, 1925, vol. ii, pp. 604, 605.
  4. Great Britain, Cmd. 2096, Morocco No. 1 (1924); also League of Nations Treaty Series, vol. xxviii, p. 541.