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

No. 997

Sir: I have the honor to communicate to the Department the following information, derived from absolutely reliable and trustworthy sources, regarding the Franco-British conversations relative to a revision of the economic régime in Morocco.

The French have now definitely approached the British Foreign Office in regard to a system of quotas, and that office consulted the Board of Trade. The latter (apparently under the pressure of the Manchester cotton goods interests) said they desired something to be done in this direction. The Foreign Office does not wish to see any impairment of the Moroccan treaties, but entertains the apprehension that in an eventual appeal on the matter to The Hague, some adjustment of the Moroccan economic régime, such as the French are claiming, might not be denied, on the grounds, among others, of deference to Shereefian Sovereignty.

It is indeed difficult to imagine by what process of logic the British Foreign Office appears to be led to these conclusions, but since such is the case, it seems extremely probable that it may acquiesce in some compromise agreement with the French, involving a theoretical safeguard of the Treaty provisions, but which in effect, will impair the full application in practice of the principle of economic liberty without any inequality in the Shereefian Empire.

Some such transactional arrangement may possibly be envisaged, and accepted by the British Foreign Office, as the limited quota system outlined in my Telegram No. 13 of November 11th, 6 p.m.

At all events it would not seem possible to overlook this eventuality, and our consequent confrontation with a “fait accompli.”

The Department will judge what action, if any, may be necessary in the circumstances.

Respectfully yours,

Maxwell Blake