The Acting Secretary of State to the Diplomatic Agent and Consul General at Tangier (Blake)
Sir: The Department acknowledges the receipt of your despatch No. 473, dated January 31, 1930,44 relating to American claims in the Spanish Zone of Morocco, and encloses for your information an instruction sent to the American Ambassador at Madrid.45
In regard to the references in your telegram of December 3, 1929,44 and in your despatch of January 31, 1930, to press reports concerning negotiations between the United States and Spain relative to Spanish claims against the United States Government arising out of the war, you are informed that no such negotiations are being conducted. Pursuant, however, to a proposal concurred in by the Spanish Government in a note of the Embassy here dated June 20, 1929,46 there are being prepared by the Governments of the United States and Spain lists of reciprocal claims, and it is anticipated that partial lists will be completed and exchanged by May 1 of this year. These claims, some of which go back to the early part of the last century, cover various subjects but do not embrace the Spanish Zone in Morocco.
Referring to your proposal that the payment of awards to Spanish claimants should be contingent upon an equitable settlement of American claims in Spanish Morocco, the Department believes that such a course would be unnecessary with respect to those claims agreed upon in the Joint Report of July 12, 1928, and impracticable at present in regard to restitution of taxes illegally collected from American citizens and protégés in the Spanish Zone in Morocco for [Page 617] the reasons that not only will it be some time before the reciprocal claims are liquidated but furthermore it cannot now be anticipated that a balance will be due to Spain.
With reference to your suggestion that the Department formally request an immediate restitution by the Spanish Government of all Gate and Consumption Taxes illegally collected from American citizens and protégés in Spanish Morocco, the Department does not believe in view of the other matters pending between the Governments of the United States and Spain that a request of this character would be expedient at the present time.
A copy of this instruction is being transmitted to the American Ambassador at Madrid.
I am [etc.]