Memorandum by the Chief of the Division of Near Eastern Affairs (Murray)
Mr. Jules Henry, Chargé d’Affaires of France, called at the Division this morning after being received by the Secretary and left with me a note dated August 26, 1937,19 referring to the Anglo-French Convention signed on July 29, 1937, at London providing for the termination of Great Britain’s capitulatory rights in Morocco. In accordance with his instructions, Mr. Henry left at the same time the text of the Anglo-French Convention together with its enclosures.
Mr. Henry referred briefly to the interest of his Government in [Page 866] concluding with this Government an agreement similar to the Anglo-French Convention mentioned above.
I thanked Mr. Henry for furnishing us with the French text of the Convention and stated that we would of course give careful attention to the matters set forth in his Government’s note. I at the same time made the observation that our primary concern in this matter is to safeguard for our nationals the equality of economic opportunity in Morocco at present guaranteed by existing treaties and other instruments. I expressed the view that it should not be difficult for us to come to an understanding with the French Government regarding the termination of our capitulatory rights in the French zone of Morocco provided we could be guaranteed absolute equality of treatment in all respects with French and other foreign nationals there. I added that it would of course require study on our part to determine the precise assurances we should wish to request of the French Government for the purpose of safeguarding our present economic rights in Morocco.
Mr. Henry then inquired whether the Department would desire to have the above negotiations take place in Washington or in Paris. In reply I stated that the matter had already been discussed in the Department and that it had been decided that it would be preferable to conduct the negotiations at this end. Mr. Henry observed that, while he himself is not entirely familiar with the subject, he felt sure that the French Commercial Attaché here would be competent to handle any questions of an economic nature that might arise during the course of our negotiations.
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