The Ambassador in France (Straus) to the Secretary of State

No. 1964

Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of the Department’s instruction No. 908 of June 12, 1935,83 asking the Embassy’s views concerning whether it is desirable to make a formal reply to the Ministry for Foreign Affairs’ note of May 6, 1935, in further regard to the proposed economic reforms in Morocco.

Unless the Department were disposed to give consideration to some modified and limited version of the plans for economic reform in a spirit of what the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in the last paragraph of its note terms “from a practical rather than a juridical standpoint”, I am inclined to agree that no useful purpose will be served in replying to the French note at the present time. In fact, shortly after the delivery of the note, an official of the Foreign Office in an altogether personal and informal manner suggested that the matter be permitted temporarily to rest. Moreover, since the drafting of the French note the situation has undergone considerable change. As the American diplomatic and consular missions in Morocco have reported, serious opposition to the economic project has developed in Morocco, and France has made little progress in winning over to its views the powers signatory to the Act of Algeciras. In consequence, it would seem advisable before responding to the French communication to await action by other interested Governments which, either through their opposition to the plan or through dilatory tactics, might possibly relieve the United States from bearing the brunt of opposition to the project. Certainly there would seem to be no reason to reply until some anxiety in the matter is shown by the French authorities.

Respectfully yours,

Jesse Isidor Straus
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