The Secretary of State to the Diplomatic Agent and Consul General at Tangier (Blake)
1. Embassy Madrid has cabled on January 14 that there would seem to be a possibility of reaching a compromise agreement with Spanish on formula suggested by you and reported to Department by Embassy as points (1) (2) (3) (4) (5). If you do not have this obtain from Madrid.
Before reaching a final conclusion Department desires to know if (1) comprises all claims agreed upon in Joint Report as listed in your 311 of July 12, 1928,10 and in addition thereto, claims resulting from application to American ressortissants of Dahirs in derogation of our treaty rights (such as consumption taxes) which have accumulated subsequent to the period covered in the Joint Report of 1928.
Under suggested formula (1) and (2) is Department correct in assumption that claims, including the Kettani claim, would be settled, that is, paid, prior to the recognition of the Spanish Zone? Department also desires clarification of your position regarding Kettani claim in view of assertion in your 433 of September 4, 1929,11 to effect that this claim is “the most important and best founded of all American claims presented,” with recommendation that it should be defended by the Department to the last without further compromise or concession.
With respect to (4) is Department correct in assuming that it is contemplated that the agreement of the Spanish to submit to the Department through the Legation legislation which it is desired to apply to American ressortissants carries with it the obligation on the part of the Spanish to withhold application of such legislation to American ressortissants unless this Government should give its assent?
With respect to (5) since it has been the established policy of this Government to consider as wholly separate the question of recognizing Protectorates in Morocco and the withdrawal of our extraterritorial privileges, Department is of the opinion that American negotiators should refrain from making any statement to the Spanish which would in any way commit this Government legally or morally to a favorable consideration of the question of the surrender of capitulations.
Likewise, since the purpose of the present negotiations is to establish normal relations with the Spanish in the Spanish Zone through formal recognition in exchange for a satisfactory settlement of outstanding [Page 1005] American claims, we should be exceedingly reluctant to attach any reservations, oral or otherwise, to the agreement regarding recognition and settlement of claims, such as conceding that other points, the nature of which are unknown to this Government, raised by the Spanish subsequent to the consummation of the agreement in question, will have to be considered.
Please cable brief reply.