The Ambassador in Spain (Hammond) to the Secretary of State

No. 985

Sir: I have the honor to refer to the Department’s telegraphic instruction No. 45, June 22nd/11 a.m., in regard to the joint report on American claims in the Spanish sphere of influence in Morocco.

At the time this telegram was received, the report in question had not been signed by the American and Spanish representatives in [Page 358]Tangier and I only received Mr. Blake’s despatch dated July 13 [12], with which was transmitted the findings of the two representatives, on July 16.

The Embassy had been moved to San Sebastian in the early days of July and General Primo de Rivera, when it was necessary to discuss this matter, was, at the time of the receipt of Mr. Blake’s despatch, taking part in the opening ceremonies of the new trans-Pyrenean tunnel at Canfranc. I accordingly arranged to see General Primo de Rivera at Santander, where he expected to go about July 22, as the King was in residence there.

Mr. Blake came to Santander and discussed the matter with me before I took it up with General Primo de Rivera, and on July 25 I saw General Primo de Rivera and took the matter up with him.

I told the President that it seemed advisable to settle these relatively small claims which were of long standing and that, in accordance with the instructions which I had received from my Government, recognition of the Spanish Protectorate in Morocco probably would follow promptly a settlement of the claims. General Primo de Rivera knew nothing about the matter and promptly telephoned to the Secretary General of the Foreign Office in Madrid who, from the telephonic conversation which I overheard, seemed to be in complete ignorance of the joint report. This, of course, was not surprising, in view of the fact that Moroccan affairs are handled by a special department presided over by General Jordana.

The President asked the Secretary General to investigate the matter immediately and report to him. When two days later I again saw General Primo de Rivera, he told me that the report in question, which had been signed by the American and Spanish representatives, was now being considered by the Moroccan Department, but that no decision in the matter had been reached. He said that he was leaving Santander shortly and would see me in San Sebastian about the middle of August, when he hoped to have full information and that he would then be able to acquaint me with the point of view of the Spanish Government.

I am forwarding a copy of this despatch to Mr. Blake and shall report to the Department by telegraph if I am able to obtain any more definite information.

I have [etc.]

Ogden H. Hammond