The Secretary of State to the Chargé in France (Marriner)

No. 828

Sir: The Department has received from the American Diplomatic Agent at Tangier, a despatch No. 1032, March 8, 1935,62 regarding the modification of the Moroccan economic regime—the protection of Moroccan industries—customs valuation scheme, a copy of which was forwarded from Tangier to the Embassy.

The Department has observed with interest and wishes to call to the particular attention of the Embassy the reference on pages 7 and 8 of this despatch to the alleged declarations of M. Ponsot, French Resident General in Morocco, before the Chamber of Commerce at Casablanca, to the effect that the proposed modifications are imposed:

“By the necessity to favor French commerce, in exchange for the advantages demanded of France (contingents) a ‘sine qua non’ condition of French Colonization;

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“By the necessity for protecting Moroccan industries against foreign attack;

“Finally, by the necessity to restore the yield of the customs duties, jeopardized by the ‘ad valorem’ regime applied to constantly decreasing prices.”

The first of these declarations, according to Mr. Blake, is in absolute contradiction with M. Ponsot’s solemn assertions to him that he (Ponsot) did not desire to obtain any advantage in favor of French interests in Morocco, and none of them appear to be compatible with the construction placed by M. Coursier, in his conversations with the Embassy at Paris, upon the object of the French Government’s proposals.

The Department is of the opinion that perhaps the Embassy may desire to make use of this material in future discussions with the French Ministry for Foreign Affairs regarding the proposed modification of the customs regime in Morocco.

Very truly yours,

For the Secretary of State:
William Phillips
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