702.4181/11: Telegram

The Consul General at Casablanca (Goold) to the Secretary of State

107. Your 68, August 30, noon67. Following is protest:

“Having recently learned of the unwonted language of the letter which your Residency General addressed to the Consul General of His Britannic Majesty inviting the Consuls of Great Britain in the ports together with their personnel to return to England, I took up the matter with my career colleagues.

In the first place it is not admissible that the notification should have been made in the name of the French Government, such a procedure being contrary to law. His Majesty, the Sultan, remains the sole sovereign of Morocco: the solemn declarations which you have often had occasion to make in the name of the French Government leave no place for doubt on this subject.

It is by virtue of his exequatur that Consuls perform their duties here. He only may withdraw this exequatur and it is thus in his name that notification should have been given. By the very terms of article 5 of the Protectorate Treaty the French Government has not the right to deal here with foreign representatives except as an intermediary through its representative, the Commissioner Resident General.

On the other hand, if a government undoubtedly has the right to consider a representative of a foreign power as persona non grata at a given moment or as a result of certain circumstances, it cannot be admitted that it should exercise this right by discourteous or violent proceedings. However, the manner in which the Consuls of His Britannic Majesty were asked to leave Morocco really constitutes an expulsion, and expulsion is a measure which in the unanimous opinion of the most authoritative writers cannot be justified even in an extreme case. If the Shereefian Government could have considered sending the Consuls away, it was none the less obligated to respect international law and custom in having recourse to the procedure of recall.

Consequently, in my capacity as Dean of the Consular Corps, it is my duty, Mr. Resident General, to raise the most formal protest against the illegal and discourteous procedure to which the Consuls of His Britannic Majesty in Morocco were submitted.

My colleagues of the United States, of Switzerland and of Japan associate themselves with this action. The Consul General of Spain in Rabat, the Consul of Portugal in Rabat, and the Vice Consul of Greece in Casablanca prefer to abstain.”

  1. Not printed.