The Diplomatic Agent and Consul General at Tangier (Blake) to the Secretary of State
[Received July 22.]
Sir: I have the honor to inform the Department that the Spanish Minister in Tangier has addressed a Note to me,39 transmitting “for my information” copy, in the French text, of an order issued by the Colonel in Chief of the Spanish troops of occupation of Tangier. This order proclaims that offenses committed against the members of the forces, involving disrespect towards them, danger to their safety, or obstruction to the performance of their duties, will be dealt with by Spanish Courts Martial in Tangier, whosoever may be the person charged with such offenses.
Mr. Goold, on the other hand, reports that in the Permanent Court Martial at Fez, French Morocco, proceedings are now pending against an American protégé, Rahamin Azoulay, charged with failure to declare stocks, as required under the terms of a Dahir to which, moreover, the American Government’s assent has not been given. In his representations in this connection to the Diplomatic Cabinet at Rabat, Mr. Goold points out that the matter is further aggravated by the fact that the civil courts in the French Zone continue to prosecute charges for similar offenses committed by non-American ressortissants, that is to say by persons other than those who, according to the treaties are amenable to the jurisdiction of the American Consular Courts in Morocco.[Page 806]
In an instruction addressed to the American Ambassador in Paris, under date of January 3, 1921,41 the latter, in connection with a similar violation of American extraterritorial jurisdiction in French Morocco, was directed to point out to the French Minister for Foreign Affairs that:
“The proclamation of Martial Law by the French Authorities of the Protectorate cannot, in the absence of an agreement to that effect with the Government of the United States, confer upon French military tribunals jurisdiction over American protegees, who, under the treaties in force and the existing usages, are liable to judicial proceedings only in the American Consular Courts, representing in Morocco not the dignity of His Shereefian Majesty but the sovereign authority of the United States.”
(See last paragraph on page 7 of Enclosure to Instruction No. 191 of January 3, 1921, addressed to the American Agent and Consul General in Tangier. See also Instruction to American Ambassador, Paris, of November 19, 1921, Enclosure to Instruction to Tangier, No. 203 of November 19, 192142).
In view of the foregoing I respectfully request instructions, by cable should the Department deem it necessary, as to the action which it may be desired that I take in regard to each of the two cases above reported.
In so far as concerns the Spanish authorities, whether civil or military, it may be recalled that no formal recognition of their status in Morocco has yet been given by the Government of the United States.