The Chargé in France (Armour) to the Secretary of State

No. 9811

Sir: With reference to the Department’s Instruction No. 3076 of February 26, 1929, instructing me to present a memorandum to the French Government regarding the application to American nationals of the Dahir of May 28, 1927, which made a provisional increase of 20% in the pilotage and harbor dues at the port of Casablanca, I have the honor to report that, as stated in my telegram No. 98 of March 14, 1929, 12 A.M.,18 this memorandum was duly presented to the Foreign Office. I handed it myself to M. de Saint Quentin, Director of the African and Levant Section of the Foreign Office, at the same time informing him that, after he had had an opportunity to study the dossier, I would be pleased to discuss the question further with him.

On August 17, I called on M. Corbin, Director of Political and Commercial Affairs at the Foreign Office, when I took up with him the question of the Shereefian Dahir of June 6, 1929, prohibiting the importation of foreign wheat and flour into the French zone of Morocco. (See the Department’s Instruction No. 4192 of August 6, 1929, [Page 491]and my telegram No. 383 of August 17, 11 A.M.19) I availed myself of this opportunity to mention to M. Corbin my visit to M. de Saint Quentin on March 14 last, at which time I had presented a further memorandum regarding the pilotage and harbor dues at the port of Casablanca, adding that I felt constrained to point out that the Embassy had received very little satisfaction so far as matters coming within the jurisdiction of the Sous-Direction de l’Afrique et du Levant were concerned. I pointed out that the question of pilotage dues had now been dragging on for many months and expressed the hope that he would use his good offices to the end that some acknowledgment might be made and action taken on the representations of my Government in this matter. M. Corbin explained that M. de Saint Quentin was then attending the conference at The Hague, but he promised to look into the matter and expedite the reply.

On September 3 last, I again called on M. Corbin and took the occasion to remind him of his promise to me of some two weeks before. At the same time, feeling that it would serve to refresh his memory on the whole question, I took the liberty of showing him the Department’s Instruction No. 3076 of February 26, 1929, which sets forth very fully our Government’s position in this matter and the reasons therefor. (It will be remembered that in this Instruction the Embassy was directed to deliver to the French Foreign Office a short memorandum, contained on Pages 6 and 7.)

M. Corbin seemed to be impressed by the arguments set forth by the Department and I think will do everything in his power to see that a reply is handed to us at the earliest possible date.

I have [etc.]

Norman Armour
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