783.003/200: Telegram

The Ambassador in the United Kingdom (Bingham) to the Secretary of State

200. In a confidential conversation yesterday between a member of the Embassy staff and an official of the Foreign Office who will be a member of the British Delegation at the forthcoming Montreux Conference,1 the latter stated that the French doubtless would raise during that Conference the question of the capitulatory regime in Morocco and that the British Government had in fact already been approached by the French Government in the matter. It was pointed out that the British Government under the terms of Anglo-French declaration of April 8, 1904, whereby the two contracting parties bound themselves not to obstruct each other’s action in Egypt and Morocco is obligated to renounce capitulatory rights in Morocco when the French make a similar renunciation in Egypt (secret article No. 2 of the Anglo-French declaration published in British Treaty Series No. 24, 1911). The Foreign Office official further stated that they have even drawn up a tentative draft of an agreement with the French on the matter.

While the question of the capitulatory regime in Morocco is technically distinct from economic problems, the Foreign Office official stated that they are entirely aware that renunciation of capitulatory rights will entail reconsideration of existing British treaties with Morocco and reshaping of commercial policy. The French position it was said inevitably will be strengthened by renunciation by Great Britain of her capitulatory rights. Final agreement between the British and French on problems concerning Morocco will not, of course, be effected at Montreux but negotiations to that end apparently will follow any agreement concluded at Montreux with respect to Egypt.

  1. See pp. 615 ff.