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

No. 806

Sir: I have the honor to enclose herewith copies of correspondence exchanged between this Legation and the Residency-General of France at Rabat,7 in regard to disputes at the Tangier Customs concerning the appraisement of the dutiable value of imported American radio sets and of flour imported by an American ressortissant.

The correspondence referred to is sufficiently self explanatory to dispense with much further comment.

As the Department will note, the developments in the case concerning imported American radio goods ought to warrant the removal of future difficulties in regard to the shipments of the American manufaeturers [Page 969] referred to. It is, however, the case relative to imported flour, which raises the most important treaty issue, since it reflects the attempt to introduce arbitrary considerations, and the attribution, to the Moroccan Customs authorities, of arbitrary powers in connection with the dutiable appraisement of imported merchandise, contrary to the specific provisions of the Act of Algeciras and of the treaties thereby confirmed.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . .

The Department will realize the danger arising to the principle of economic equality in Morocco from any tampering, on the part of the French authorities, with the protective armature to international trade in the Shereefian Empire, which is afforded by the present treaty régime of the Moroccan Customs.

My British and Italian colleagues share my views as to the importance of the principles involved in the controversy which is the subject of the annexed correspondence, and I trust that my attitude in the matter and the position taken in my Notes to the French Resident-General will be approved by the Department.

My British colleague states that failing satisfaction from the local Franco-Shereefian authorities, representations will be made by the British to the French Government, and the Department may deem that similar action may become necessary in our own case.

I shall await with great interest the Department’s comments and instructions in this regard.

Respectfully yours,

Maxwell Blake
  1. Not printed.