The Belgian Ambassador (Van der Straten-Ponthoz) to the Secretary of State

D. 7115
No. 4368

Mr. Secretary of State: With reference to the letter which I addressed Your Excellency on February 7, 1938, the number of which was 411, I have the honor to advise you, in accordance with instructions from my Government, that the latter has charged the King’s Ambassador at London and at Paris to advise the British and the French Governments that after mature examination of the question, the Belgian Government is obliged to make every reservation on the legitimacy of a modification of the Moroccan customs tariff without the assent of the powers beneficiaries of the Act of Algesiras. This action is based on the reasons set forth in my above-cited letter and in the memorandum which this Embassy sent to the Chief of the Division of Near Eastern Affairs, by letter of February 23, 1936 [1938], no. 683.

The Ambassadors of Belgium at Paris and at London have likewise been charged to recall that the establishment of quotas has always been considered as noncompatible with the régime of “economic liberty without any inequality” stipulated in the Act of Algesiras. This, furthermore, is the opinion of the British and French Governments themselves, as is proved by the conditional consent of the British Government to such measures.

Lastly, the abrogation of the regulations on the Customs of the Empire and the adoption of new regulations (particularly concerning customs values) contemplated by the annexes of the Anglo-Moroccan Treaty of July 18, 1938 has likewise been made the subject of the same action on the part of the Ambassadors, who have pointed out that those modifications cannot come into force except by the assent of all the powers beneficiaries of the Act of Algesiras.

I avail myself [etc.]

For the absent Ambassador:
The Counsellor of the Embassy
Baron de Gruben