811.11101 Waivers 81—
The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Spain ( Bowers )
Sir: The Department acknowledges the receipt of your despatches No. 608 and No. 675 of December 18, 1934, and February 27, 1935, respectively, concerning the Spanish policy in Morocco with reference to the requirement that a citizen of the United States traveling through or resorting to the Spanish Zone of Influence in Morocco obtain a visa and pay a fee therefor. This matter has been, as you know, the subject of considerable correspondence between your Embassy and the Spanish Government and between the American Diplomatic Agent and Consul General at Tangier and the Spanish Consul General at that place, but has not culminated in a conclusion in any way satisfactory to this Government.
The Department is of the opinion, however, that notwithstanding the attitude of the Spanish Government it should nevertheless insist that in principle the Spanish Government has no authority in law or under treaty provision to impose upon American citizens resorting to or traversing the Spanish Zone of Influence in Morocco the requirement that they obtain visas for residence or transit and pay fees therefor. The attitude of the Department has been set forth in various communications to you, especially in instruction No. 174 of December 6, 1934. In consequence it seems unnecessary to review the Department’s [Page 1024] previous attitude with respect to the Spanish requirements, and it seems necessary to discuss only the reply of the Spanish Ministry of State of February 12, 1935, to your note of December 17, 1934.36
In its note the Spanish Ministry of State contends that by Article 4 of the Anglo-Moroccan Treaty of December 9, 1856, the benefit of the most-favored-nation treatment is not established in its entirety and without limitation but that it is conditioned upon reciprocal treatment being accorded to Moroccan subjects. The Department considers that under the Convention of 188037 citizens of the United States are entitled in Morocco to the same treatment as is accorded to the most-favored-nation without any obligation on the part of the United States to grant similar treatment to natives of Morocco. In the opinion of the Department the contention of the Spanish Government that under Article 4 of the Anglo-Moroccan Treaty of 1856 the United States could request for its citizens the suppression of the passport visa requirements for American citizens resorting to or traveling through the Spanish Zone in Morocco only if it were to grant to natives of the Spanish Zone the privilege of entering the United States without visas is unsound. Moreover, it seems clear from despatch No. 1075 of July 11, 1935, from the Diplomatic Agent and Consul General at Tangier,38 a copy of which was forwarded by him to your Embassy, that the arrangement between the British, French and Dutch Governments and Spain regarding the travel of their nationals in the Spanish Zone in Morocco is not based upon the observance by Great Britain, France, the Netherlands or Spain of reciprocal treatment of natives of Morocco, and consequently the policy of the Spanish Government with respect to citizens of the United States resorting to or traveling through the Spanish Zone in Morocco is distinctly discriminatory.
It is requested that you press the Spanish authorities as vigorously as possible to discontinue their long continued discrimination against citizens of the United States resorting to or traveling through the Spanish Zone in Morocco.39 You should point out not only the legal rights of citizens of the United States under the Convention of 1880 and the vexation of an inconvenience caused to citizens of the United [Page 1025] States desiring to travel in the Spanish Zone in Morocco, but also call attention to the fact that the visa requirements have doubtless dissuaded many citizens of the United States from traveling in the Spanish Zone in Morocco, with consequent economic disadvantages to such Zone.
Very truly yours,
- Not printed; it followed instruction No. 174, December 6, 1934, to the Ambassador in Spain, p. 1018.↩
- Convention as to Protection between Morocco and Other Powers, signed July 3, 1880, William M. Malloy (ed.), Treaties, Conventions, etc., Between the United States and Other Powers, 1776–1909 (Washington, Government Printing Office, 1910), vol. i, p. 1220.↩
- Not printed.↩
- The Ambassador reported in despatch No. 881, September 11, 1935, that on that day a note, dated September 10, pursuant to this instruction, was left at the Spanish Ministry for Foreign Affairs.↩