The Chief of the Division of Near Eastern Affairs (Murray) to the Diplomatic Agent and Consul General at Tangier (Blake)

Dear Maxwell: We have been very much interested in your despatch no. 1477 of August 4, 1939 regarding the settlement of American claims in the French Zone.

The action taken by you in your letter to Mr. Goold of August 3, 1939 is fully approved. In that connection, your attention is invited to the Paris Embassy’s telegram to the Department no. 1058 of June 3, 1939, 1 p.m., in which M. Coursier was quoted as stating that the French Foreign Office “does not entertain the idea that settlement of the claims can be made contingent upon the conclusion of new treaties.” You will recall also that in the same telegram M. Coursier “interpreted the closing paragraph of the Department’s instruction to Blake (Department’s telegram no. 4 of May 31, 1939, 4 p.m.) as a reservation on our part to the effect that we expect a settlement of the claims regardless of the outcome of the Washington negotiations. He agreed that this proposition was unassailable.”

It was no doubt the foregoing facts to which you had reference when observing in your letter to Mr. Goold that it was your “understanding that the French Government had disclaimed any intention of associating the two subjects”.

As you may well appreciate, however, we are less concerned with upholding this contention than with that of obtaining some firm offer of settlement from the French to include, of course, all the claims. We hold the whip hand in this regard as we may always delay ratification of any treaty instrument which may be negotiated until the claims are settled.

Sincerely yours,

Wallace Murray