The Ambassador in Spain ( Laughlin ) to the Secretary of State
[Received March 26.]
Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your instruction No. 5 of January 18th, ultimo, with regard to the American claims in the Spanish Zone of Morocco. A few days before the arrival of this instruction, I received from the Spanish Secretary General of Foreign Affairs, a long note dealing with the question, the copy of which I beg leave to transmit herewith for your information, as well as a translation thereof.
I have analyzed carefully the Secretary General’s note, and, while it must be considered as conciliatory in tone, and is indeed meant to be so, as the Secretary General himself emphasized to me in a very informal conversation I had with him on the subject a few days ago, I do not find that it makes us any real concessions except perhaps in the second class of claims.
On the occasion of my conversation with Señor Palacios I mentioned casually to him the practical difficulty of renouncing the Capitulations as a condition to a settlement of the claims, pointing out the part the Senate would have to play in such a surrender of rights. To this he replied that he of course understood my contention, but that it would still be possible for you to give your consent in principle and take the necessary steps for obtaining the requisite legislative action. According to Señor Palacios, the following governments have renounced their Capitulatory rights in Mórocco:—France, Norway, Sweden, Russia, Belgium, Denmark, Italy, Greece, Germany (Treaty of Versailles), Austria-Hungary (Treaty of the Trianon), Portugal, Switzerland, and The Netherlands.
The first class of claims, amounting to 134,046.30 Pesetas, which was accepted in the Spanish Government’s note of August 9th last, a copy of which was transmitted you with Mr. Hammond’s despatch No. 1338 of August 20, 1929,33 are again accepted in toto in the note just received. With regard to the third class of claims, totalling 62,993.55 Pesetas, these are likewise accepted, but on condition that the United States Government renounce the regime of Capitulations in the Spanish Zone of Morocco. This was exactly the status of the matter as presented by the Secretary General in his note of August 9th, last.
Only in the second class of claims, which total 451,745.85 Pesetas, does the Spanish Government make a concession. Of the five claims in this class, three are absolutely turned down, as they were in the note of August 9th, last. The remaining two, that of Kettani for [Page 608] 400,000 Pesetas, and Raisuni Muhal [Rahamin Muyal] for 10,000 Pesetas, while still not admitted, in the view of the Spanish Government, may be brought before the competent legal authorities for a definite decision.
Before taking this matter up further with the Spanish Government, or discussing it with Mr. Blake as you suggest in the instruction under acknowledgment, I feel that I should submit this last note for your consideration and further instructions. A copy of this despatch, together with its enclosure is being forwarded Mr. Blake for his information.
I have [etc.]
- Foreign Relations, 1929, vol. iii, p. 500.↩
- File translation revised.↩
- Hassan Raisuli.↩
- Driss El-Kittany.↩
- i. e., if it were the property of Muley Haffid.↩
- i. e., if it were the property of Sidi-Dris-El-Kettani.↩
“The right to hold property is recognized in Morocco as belonging to all foreigners.
The purchase of property must take place with the previous consent of the government, and the title of such property shall be subject to the forms prescribed by the laws of the country.
Any question that may arise concerning this right shall be decided according to the same laws, with the privilege of appeal to the minister of foreign affairs stipulated in the treaties.”↩
- Ibid., 1906, pt. 2, pp. 1495, 1504, 1511.↩
- Thamy Slawee.↩
- The amount of these claims, which should read 11,222.00 Ptas., is omitted, obviously a typographical error. [Footnote in original translation.]↩
- Foreign Relations, 1927, vol. iii, p. 273.↩