The Diplomatic Agent and Consul General at Tangier (Blake) to the Secretary of State

No. 1521

Sir: I have the honor to enclose herewith copy of a Note, dated January 9, 1940, which I have addressed to the Resident General of France at Rabat, as Foreign Minister of His Shereefian Majesty, in pursuance of Instruction No. 1054 of December 4, 19392 (File No. 681.006/67), reserving American treaty rights in relation to legislation introduced by the French Protectorate Government, incident to the present exceptional circumstances in French Morocco.

The general reservation formulated in my Note, follows as closely as possible the phraseology of the above mentioned Instruction, and will, I trust, be found by the Department, to meet the situation satisfactorily.

Respectfully yours,

Maxwell Blake

The American Diplomatic Agent and Consul General at Tangier (Blake) to the Frence Resident General in Morocco (Naguès)

Mr. Resident General: I had the honor to address to Your Excellency, under date of September 18, 1939,3 a Note which, on behalf of my Government, made formal reservation of American treaty rights in Morocco, in relation to decrees establishing Foreign Exchange Control, the prohibition and reglementation of exports and imports, and similar emergency war time measures, which were published in the Official Bulletin of the Protectorate Government, No. 1402-bis of [Page 773] September 15, 1939. My Note further protested against the pretention to afford preferential treatment to French and Algerian merchandise implied in certain of the decrees concerning the control of importations.

While confirming the tenor of the Note above mentioned, I am now instructed to extend the same reservations, to all war time measures promulgated subsequently to the decrees particularly referred to above, and to those which may be introduced in the future, incident to the present exceptional circumstances in French Morocco, insofar as they may be at variance with the treaty principles upon which American rights are based in Morocco.

I am instructed to remind Your Excellency that my Government cannot give its approval to the application to American nationals in French Morocco of legislation which might be regarded as direct governmental assistance to one belligerent against the interests of the opposing belligerent, because, as the Protectorate Government has been informed, such a result would not be in accord with the neutrality of the United States, which has been proclaimed by the President.

However, I am prepared to examine with the Protectorate Authorities, and to report to the Department of State at Washington, suggestions designed to avoid special difficulties prejudicial to the interests of the Moroccan community, which might result from the failure of my Government to give its approval to legislation enacted as a result of the present exceptional circumstances in Morocco. Such suggestions would have to be limited, of course, to those measures of co-operation which did not prejudice the neutrality of the United States, the maintenance of American treaty rights in French Morocco, or the legitimate activities and interests of American nationals there.

Please accept [etc.]

Maxwell Blake