452.11/198: Telegram

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

3. Department’s 9, November 7, 2 p.m.7

The Spanish Ambassador has notified the Department that the Spanish Consul General at Tangier has been instructed to act with you in passing on American claims in the Spanish Zone. If, as would appear, your Spanish colleague has been given full powers in the matter, you should inform him that you are invested with similar full powers and you should proceed to collaborate with him in examining the claims and in preparing a joint report of findings and recommendations for submission to the two Governments. The terms of reference will include the specific claims reported by you in your despatch 256, November 27 [22], 1921, your telegram of August 18, 1926, your despatch 238, November 15, 1927, and also minor claims of the sort described in paragraphs 8 and 12 of your despatch 238, November 15, 1927.8
As you point out the claims referred to in paragraphs 10 and 11 of your despatch 238, November 15, 1927, fall in a separate category involving as they do a question of principle and are not subject to compromise. After verification of facts and specific amounts, with the collaboration of your Spanish colleague should such a course seem desirable, you should bring them formally to his attention and should point out that claims of this class will continue to accrue and will continue to be presented to his Government until the specific assent of this Government to the application to American citizens and proteges of the taxes in question shall have been asked [Page 348]for and formally notified to his Government through the diplomatic channel on condition that the taxes are applied equally to citizens and proteges of all nations. In giving such assent this Government will, of course, reserve its consular jurisdiction over American citizens and ressortissants who may be charged with infractions of the tax laws.
You should instruct Casablanca to have El Khazen9 proceed with the desired investigation. His travel expenses and a per diem of seven dollars in lieu of subsistence are authorized subject to the limitations of the travel regulations. Include in accounts Tangier, chargeable to contingent appropriation.
[Paraphrase.] In view of telegram No. 29 of February 21 from Madrid to the Department,10 it would seem desirable from the American point of view and from the Spanish point of view as well that a satisfactory settlement of these claims should be expedited. [End paraphrase.]
  1. Ibid., p. 274.
  2. Despatches No. 238 and No. 256 not printed. For telegram of August 18, 1926, see ibid., 1926, vol. ii, p. 729. A list of the claims in question is printed on p. 345.
  3. Michael A. El Khazen, interpreter at the American consulate at Casablanca
  4. Post, p. 367.