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

No. 616

Sir: The Department has received your despatch No. 559 of November 7, 1930, concerning the opposition of the French authorities in Morocco to evangelization work of Christian missionaries.

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The Department is reluctant to permit the French authorities, without protest, to restrict the activities of American missionaries when such restriction would appear to be in violation of American rights. Nevertheless, the Department is equally reluctant to raise an issue so pregnant with possible difficulties as that inherent in controversies of a religious nature, especially those of a political character. It is understood from your despatch that the opposition to the Christianization of the Berbers comes from the Moorish population and that the French authorities have found it necessary to issue the orders in question in order to maintain an undisturbed political situation. It is assumed that the suppression of attempts to Christianize the Berbers has been applied to missionaries of all nationalities, (including French), so that there is no element of discrimination against American missionaries.

If, in your opinion, it has been reasonable and necessary for the French authorities to adopt the measures in question you should advise American missionaries in Morocco, should they seek your assistance, that they should restrict their activities to conform to the restrictions of the French authorities.

Very truly yours,

For the Secretary of State:
W. R. Castle, Jr.