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

No. 727

Sir: Careful consideration has been given by the Department to your despatches Nos. 78711 and 791 of November 24 and December 15, 1932, respectively, relating to the recent declaration of the Resident General of France to incorporate with the ordinary budget the special tax of 2½% provided for in Article 66 of the Act of Algeciras.

The Department has weighed carefully the observations and explanations of the Resident General in this matter, as set forth in his letter to you of December 1, 1932. Notwithstanding these elucidations of M. Lucien Saint, the Department is constrained to maintain the view that this act of the French Protectorate authorities, undertaken of their own initiative and unilaterally, constitutes an unauthorized departure from the provisions of Article 66 of the Act of Algeciras to which the United States is a party. Accordingly, while the Department [Page 972] fully appreciates the practical considerations discussed by M. Lucien Saint, the Department considers that the importance of maintaining unimpaired the provisions of the Act of Algeciras outweighs the practical considerations mentioned and the Department is therefore regretfully impelled to protest the action of the Protectorate authorities as a contravention of Article 66 of the Act of Algeciras.

Accordingly, you are directed to address a communication to the Resident General expressing this Government’s views as outlined above.

The Italian Embassy, which has frequently made inquiry of the Department with regard to this Government’s attitude in this matter, has been informally advised of the steps which you are instructed to take in the premises.

Very truly yours,

For the Secretary of State:
William Phillips
  1. Despatch No. 787 not printed.