781.003/215: Telegram

The Ambassador in France (Bullitt) to the Secretary of State

962. My 951, May 16, 7 p.m.49 The conversation with Lagarde50 this afternoon added nothing of importance to the explanation given by Marchal51 yesterday. It did however offer a convenient opportunity to bring up the subject of the claims of American nationals and protégés. The Department’s instruction No. 1464 was received yesterday after our talk with Marchal. Lagarde and also Marchal who was present appeared impressed by the observation that it would be unfortunate to handicap Marchal during his Washington visit by failure to give consideration to the claims question before his departure.

Lagarde agreed that Marchal immediately upon his arrival at Rabat at the end of this week should urge upon the Resident General the desirability of entering into immediate contact on the subject with Blake. It was suggested on the French side that if the Resident General and Blake are not able to reach an early settlement then the claims question should be covered by a provision in the convention for the renunciation of extraterritorial rights. After the meeting Marchal said to us that he would do all possible to have negotiations opened with Blake at once in the hope of thus facilitating his work in Washington on far more important subjects.

Copy by air mail to Tangier.

  1. Ante, p. 654.
  2. M. Ernest Lagarde, Assistant Director of the Africa-Levant Section of the French Foreign Office.
  3. M. Leon Marchal, Director of Commerce and Industry, French Residency General, Rabat, Morocco, detailed to assist the French Ambassador in the United States in the current negotiations with the United States regarding the abolition of capitulatory rights in the French Zone of Morocco.