681.116/65

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

No. 7

Sir: I have the honor to transmit herewith copy of a Note of protest dated August 12, 1940, which in pursuance of the Department’s Instruction No. 1066 of March 20, 1940 to my predecessor, I have addressed to the Resident General of France in Morocco, as Minister for Foreign Affairs of His Shereefian Majesty, concerning quotas and other restrictions imposed by administrative action of Protectorate Departments, without specific legislative authority, upon the importation of automotive vehicles, parts and equipment into the French Zone of Morocco. The Note reserves, at the same time, all American treaty rights as affected by such action as well as by any action of the French Protectorate Authorities incident to the present exceptional circumstances in French Morocco.

Respectfully yours,

J. C. White
[Enclosure]

The American Diplomatic Agent and Consul General at Tangier (White) to the French Resident General in Morocco (Noguès)

Mr. Resident General: I have the honor to inform Your Excellency that, according to reports received by the Department of State from the American Consul General at Casablanca, quotas and other restrictive measures have been imposed upon the importation of automotive vehicles, spare parts and general automotive equipment, through the action of administrative departments of the Protectorate, unsupported by any specific legislative authority.

As instances of such administrative action reference is made to a reported convention between the Department of Public Works, the Foreign Exchange Control Office, and the principal local distributors of American truck chassis for the limitation of imports of chassis to a quota of 988 units over a period of twelve months from September 1939 to September 1940, and also to the rules laid down by the Director General of Public Works, at his conference, on February 5, 1940, with representatives of the “Groupement des Importateurs du Commerce de l’Automobile,” rules which required importers, whenever possible, to limit the placement of their orders to France and Great Britain, purchases to be allowed exceptionally in other countries, listed in their [Page 783]order of preference, the United States coming last. It may be incidentally remarked that one of the avowed purposes of the rules was to replace the importation of products of the United States by that of similar products which might be obtained from other sources.

The fact is of course not overlooked that these administrative measures are intended solely to meet war time difficulties. I would recall however that the position of my Government in regard to legislation enacted in French Morocco in a similar intention, was stated in a Note dated January 9, 1940, addressed to Your Excellency by my predecessor, Mr. Maxwell Blake.15

I am further instructed by my Government to address to Your Excellency a protest against the administrative quotas and restrictions above referred to, and at the same time, to reserve all American treaty rights as affected by this administraive action as well as by any action of the French Protectorate Authorities incident to the present exceptional circumstances in French Morocco.

Please accept [etc.]

J. C. White
  1. Ante, p. 772.