811.11101 Waivers 81—

The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Spain (Bowers)

No. 174

Sir: The Department refers to your despatch No. 344 of April 17, 1934, concerning its instruction No. 91 of March 30, 1934,28 relative to the fees charged by French and Spanish Consulates for visaing passports of American citizens traveling in Morocco.

The Department is in receipt of despatch No. 985 of November 3, 1934, from the American Diplomatic Agent and Consul General at Tangier, Morocco,29 in which he states that “the situation as regards American citizens resorting to or merely traversing the Spanish Zone, has become aggravated by the recent imposition of a requirement by which such citizens, in order to obtain a visa for residence or transit, must provide the Spanish Consulate General, here, with two photographs”. It is added that this requirement has in a number of cases made it necessary for American citizens debarking at Tangier in order to proceed through the Spanish Zone to points in the French Zone or to visit the city of Tetuan to give up their train or autobus reservations and remain in Tangier while at the same time French and [Page 1019] British nationals are able to proceed to such places without even being required to obtain visas. The Legation at Tangier has communicated orally and in writing with the Spanish Consul General at Tangier pointing out the obvious discrimination against American citizens resulting from the necessity on the part of such citizens to obtain Spanish visas in order to traverse the Spanish Zone while nationals of other countries, notably English and French nationals, are not required to obtain visas. It is noted that in the communication from the Spanish Consul General of October 25, 1934, to the American Diplomatic Agent and Consul General at Tangier30 it is stated that the former has been advised by the Spanish Government that “in order to arrive at the adoption of measures analogous with English subjects and French citizens who in the future may enter the Spanish Zone of Morocco, negotiations were followed to this effect between the representatives of those States at Madrid and our Ministry of State, and that in the present case, respecting this established precedent, it would be pertinent to follow this example”.

The Department desires that you again take up with the appropriate Spanish authorities the impropriety of the action of Spanish consular officers in requiring visas of American citizens intending to enter the Spanish Zone in Morocco, recently aggravated by the imposition of a requirement that such citizens provide the Spanish Consulate General in Tangier with photographs which can only be obtained after some inconvenience and delay. Obviously you should stress not only the impropriety of any action in Morocco which may in any way discriminate against American citizens but also the provisions of the applicable treaties, especially Article IV of the general treaty between Great Britain and Morocco of 1856,31 the terms of which article are applicable to American citizens by virtue of the most-favored-nation clauses of various treaties and conventions to which the United States and Morocco are parties. The Department considers that this is a matter which should long ago have been cleared up by the Spanish authorities by the removal of any requirement with respect to the necessity of American citizens traveling in the Spanish Zone obtaining Spanish visas, and it therefore urges you to press this matter in order that it may be disposed of satisfactorily as soon as possible.

Very truly yours,

For the Secretary of State:
Wilbur J. Carr
  1. Neither printed.
  2. Not printed.
  3. Not printed.
  4. Convention of Commerce and Navigation signed at Tangier, December 9, 1856, British and Foreign State Papers, vol. xlvi, p. 188.