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

No. 559

Sir: I have the honor to report to the Department that the Reverend Fred. C. Enyart, an American citizen, resident for some thirty-five years in Mequinez, Morocco, Secretary of the “Morocco Mission” of the Gospel Missionary Union Incorporated of Kansas City, Missouri, United States of America, recently visited me in Tangier for the purpose of apprizing me of the opposition manifested by the French Authorities to the evangelizing work of the American Missionaries in Morocco.

The question was fully and frankly discussed between us in all its aspects. I told Mr. Enyart that, while in principle, I was not disposed to admit of any right of the French Authorities to restrict the right of residence and the freedom of travel provided for by the treaties, or the legitimate activities of any American citizens in Morocco, it [Page 604] certainly did appear necessary in the present condition of affairs in the French Zone, for Christian Missionaries to observe the greatest tact and restraint.

I reviewed the extremely delicate position which had arisen for the French and native Authorities, as a result of the so-called “Berber Dahirs” which I reported to the Department in my Despatch No. 540 of September 18th, 1930.26 Mr. Enyart was fully aware of these conditions, freely admitted the delicacy of the situation, and expressed his intention to observe the requisite prudence in his activities.

Enclosed herewith is a copy of a written communication submitted, at my request by Mr. Enyart, on the subject of his conversations with me.26

Although as a result of my interview with Mr. Enyart the situation for the time being would appear to have been met, difficulties might not improbably present themselves in the near future.

One cannot deny that religious activities of Christian propagandists are liable, with the disturbed atmosphere created in Mohammedan circles by the French Berber policy, to provoke serious political repercussions in the French Zone of Morocco. In these circumstances it appears that the Sultan has received formal assurances of the French Authorities as to the suppression of all attempts to Christianize the Berber tribes, and these assurances appear to have produced a desirable measure of appeasement to the Moorish population.

To what degree such promises may be deemed a justification to restrain the American Missionaries in Morocco from carrying on activities, which, as Mr. Enyart points out, they have peacefully pursued in this country for over thirty-five years, is a question of some complexity, in the circumstances. Furthermore, as it is anticipated that similar difficulties may present themselves in the near future, also in the Spanish Zone of Morocco, I venture to solicit the Department’s instructions as to the measure of official support, which it may be deemed proper for me to afford to American Missionaries in Morocco, in the event of their further appeal for my intervention with the French and Spanish Authorities.

Respectfully yours,

Maxwell Blake
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