The Secretary of State to the Chargé in Morocco (Doolittle)
Sir: The Department has received Mr. Blake’s despatch no. 1522 of January 12, 1940 enclosing the text of legislation promulgated in the Tangier Zone on November 5 and November 30, 1939, regulating wartime trade in that Zone. In Mr. Blake’s despatch it is stated that the legislation has been referred to him by the French Resident General with a view to obtaining the assent of this Government to its application to American nationals and American protected persons in the Tangier Zone.
You should inform the French Resident General that the Department cannot give its approval to the application in the Tangier Zone to American nationals and American-protected persons of legislation in derogation of American treaty rights in that Zone.
However, it may be stated in your communication that you would be prepared to examine with the French Resident General and to report to the Department suggestions designed to avoid special difficulties prejudicial to the interests of the Tangier community which might result from the failure of this Government to give its approval [Page 781] to legislation enacted as the result of the present exceptional circumstances in the Tangier Zone. It should be added that the suggestions would have to be limited, of course, to those measures of cooperation which did not prejudice the neutrality of the United States, the maintenance of American treaty rights in the Tangier Zone or the legitimate activities and interests of American nationals there.
Very truly yours,