Memorandum by the Assistant Chief of the Division of Western European Affairs (Culbertson)

Mr. Migone2 came in today to inquire informally what the Department’s attitude is towards recent statements made by Mr. Henri Ponsot, Resident General of France in Morocco. Ponsot has been advocating some sort of revision of the Act of Algeciras3 so as to permit Morocco to have greater economic freedom, particularly in customs matters.

I told Mr. Migone that we had been informed by our representative in Tangier of the nature of Mr. Ponsot’s statements, but that the proposals which Ponsot had put forward in this way had not been brought to this Government’s attention, officially or unofficially, by the French Government or by the Moroccan authorities. Until such proposals were brought to our attention officially this Government would of course express no views with regard to them. Mr. Migone asked whether in the event that the Government of the United States was officially approached in the matter the United States would consult with the other powers signatory to the Act of Algeciras. I said that I presumed that we would, since there had been many occasions in the past where the powers signatory to the Act of Algeciras had exchanged views with regard to Moroccan problems. I added that I of course did not know what would be done in this particular case, but that I presumed the usual procedure would be adopted. In answer to a further inquiry by Mr. Migone I stated that this Government, while recognizing the French Protectorate, of course looked upon Morocco as a sovereign country, and that it is our expectation that the American Government will be given equality of opportunity in Morocco similar to that accorded any other country including France.

It was clearly understood that Mr. Migone, while apparently acting under instructions from his Government, was making an entirely informal [Page 837] inquiry and that the answers which I had given to his inquiries were equally informal and unofficial.

P[aul] T. C[ulbertson]
  1. Mr. Bartolomeo Migone, First Secretary of the Italian Embassy.
  2. Foreign Relations, 1906, pt. 2, p. 1495.