The Secretary of State to the Chargé in Spain (Whitehouse)

No. 637

Sir: The Department has received Mr. Hammond’s despatch No. 1338 of August 20, 1929, transmitting the text of a note, dated August 9, 1929, from the Spanish Foreign Office, relative to the settlement of American claims in the Spanish Zone of Morocco, and has considered it in the light of the comments made in despatch No. 433 of September 4, 1929, from the American Diplomatic Agent at Tangier,37 a copy of which was sent to you direct by the latter.

The Department is of the opinion that the suggestions made in the Spanish note of August 9 depart so radically from the agreement arrived at between the two Governments as a result of the interchange of the Department’s note to the Spanish Embassy in Washington, dated November 7, 1927,38 and the Embassy’s reply of February 11, 1928,39 which preceded the designation of Mr. Blake and Señor Pla to prepare a Joint Report regarding the settlement of the claims in question as well as from the understandings embodied in the Joint Report itself and in the supplemental discussions between Mr. Blake and General Jordana, and from the informal assurances on the subject which have been conveyed to you from time to time by officials of the Spanish Government as to amount to a virtual repudiation of that agreement and of the subsequent understandings upon which the discussion has proceeded. In these circumstances it would seem unprofitable and undignified for this Government to give any serious consideration to the proposals advanced in the Spanish note of August [Page 504]9, and accordingly the Department has no doubt that the Spanish Government will desire to resume at an early date the discussion of the claims in question upon the basis upon which they have heretofore been carried forward.

You may advise the Spanish Government verbally and informally of the views of this Government as indicated above, and in the event that the Spanish Government evinces a desire for further informal discussion upon the various phases of the question of the settlement of the American claims in the Spanish Zone of Morocco, you may in your discretion make further informal observations in the sense of the present instruction and in that of Mr. Blake’s analysis of the present Spanish proposals as contained in his despatch of September 4.

A copy of the present instruction has been sent to the American Diplomatic Agent and Consul General at Tangier for his information.

I am [etc.]

For the Secretary of State:
J. P. Cotton