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

No. 487

Sir: Reference is made to the Department’s telegrams 45, June 22, 11 a.m. and 52, August 9, 1 p.m., in the latter of which it was suggested that you intimate to the Spanish Government that this Government is awaiting an offer from the Spanish Government to settle the American claims arising in connection with the Spanish occupation of the socalled Spanish Zone of Morocco on the basis of the Joint Report signed on July 12, 1928, by the American Diplomatic Agent and Consul General at Tangier and the Spanish Consul General at Tangier.

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The Department wishes to be informed whether any developments have taken place beyond those described in your despatch No. 985, dated August 3, 1928, and whether there is any prospect of early action in the premises on the part of the Spanish Government. You may accordingly make informal inquiries of the appropriate Spanish officials on the subject and you may also in your discretion advise them informally that this Government will, in your opinion, be disinclined to proceed further in its consideration of the question of official recognition on the part of this Government of the Spanish Protectorate in that part of Morocco, commonly known as the Spanish Zone, until such time as satisfactory settlement has been made of the American claims in question. In this connection, and for your guidance in such conversations as you may have with the appropriate Spanish officials, there are enclosed copies of notes addressed to the Spanish Ambassador here, dated November 7, 192716 and February 25, 1928 respectively, with reference to the request of the Spanish Government for recognition of the Spanish Protectorate. You will observe from these that on more than one occasion, and specifically in the communication, dated November 7, 1927, the Department informed the Spanish Ambassador that prompt and sympathetic consideration would be given to the question of official recognition as soon as a satisfactory settlement of the outstanding claims of American citizens and protégés in cases arising in connection with the Spanish zone had been agreed upon.

It is possible that the Spanish Government may endeavor to include the Moroccan claims in the general list of claims outstanding between the two Governments. This Government would not be disposed to agree to such a course as the Moroccan claims are against Spain in her special capacity as occupant of the socalled Spanish zone and as the negotiations throughout have been based on the tacit understanding that in return for the satisfactory settlement of the American claims in the Spanish zone this Government would extend official recognition to the Spanish Protectorate.

I am [etc.]

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