The Secretary of State to the Chargé in the United Kingdom (Johnson)

No. 2065

Sir: Reference is made to your telegram No. 608 of September 25, 1937, 1 p.m., and, in particular, to the informal discussions which the Embassy has had with the Foreign Office concerning the safeguarding of economic and other rights and interests in Morocco incident to the abolition of the capitulatory régime in the French Zone of the Shereefian Empire.

The Department has now in preparation the draft of a convention with the French Government for the renunciation of American extraterritorial rights in that zone. It is the Department’s intention to submit the draft shortly to the American Diplomatic Agent and Consul General at Tangier for his comments, and it is not contemplated that formal negotiations will be instituted with the French Government pending the receipt of such observations as Mr. Blake may have to make.

With certain particular exceptions which will be noted, the proposed convention for the renunciation of American capitulatory rights is expected to conform in general with the British Convention of July 29, 1937, having the same purpose in respect of British extraterritorial rights in Morocco. An endeavor will be made to obviate the necessity of the various annexes attached to the British instrument by the incorporation in the convention proper of the essential and relevant provisions of those annexes so far as they may be deemed pertinent to the protection of American interests. Article 13 of the British convention is not considered to be a suitable model for use in a treaty of the United States and, accordingly, the Department proposes to suggest in substitution two articles relating to estate cases which are standard in the consular conventions of the United States. Moreover, Article 7 of the British convention will be expanded by the inclusion of an assurance of the maintenance of a régime of economic liberty without any inequality. As forming a part of this assurance there will be included also a definition of economic equality conforming in its general lines, with such modification as subsequent economic developments have appeared to make necessary, with a similar definition which was accepted by the British, French and Spanish Governments in 1924 as [Page 877] one of the conditions laid down by this Government as prerequisite to its adherence to the Tangier Statute.

The draft of a treaty of friendship, commerce and navigation, which the Department proposes to negotiate concurrently with the capitulations convention, conforms substantially, except for the omission of the articles concerning consular officers, with treaties of friendship, commerce and consular rights now in force between the United States and numerous other countries, of which that with Norway39 may be cited as an example. Copies of the last named are enclosed. The principal modifications which have been introduced in the draft commercial convention with France concerning Morocco, have to do with the addition of references to quotas, monopolies, and exchange control, similar to those now forming part of this Government’s standard trade agreement provisions.

You are authorized to acquaint the interested officials of the Foreign Office informally with such of the foregoing as may appear to you to be appropriate.

Very truly yours,

For the Secretary of State:
Hugh R. Wilson
  1. Signed at Washington, June 5, 1928, Foreign Relations, 1928, vol. iii, p. 646.