Hopkins Papers

Wilbur Notes2

The Grand Vizier made it clear that the matters to be discussed must be made known only to the President and that no power other than the U.S. should know of the interview. Unless the above could be agreed upon it were better not to discuss anything.

Mr. Hopkins assured the G.V. that his desires would be completely respected and that matters to be discussed would be for the President’s ear only.

The G.V. stated that there were four questions to be presented to the President for his consideration.

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1st Question.

His Majesty the Sultan has heard of the conference between Gen. Giraud and Gen. de Gaulle now taking place. France itself is insecure and has turned first this way then that. Since Nov. 8 relations with the French have been troubled due to the existence of many factions. The Sultan has no complaint to make against Gen. Nogues. He is an able administrator and his relations with the Sultan, with the Sultan’s government and with the people have been excellent. But since Nov. 8, when Gen. Noguès has proposed some line of action, almost immediately some de Gaullist or Vichy group has opposed it.

Due to all of the above the Sultan is worried. He has welcomed the arrival of U.S. troops with joy; but will the joy continue? What are the intentions of the U.S. in regard to Morocco? What relations are to be established with the U.S.? In order to determine his future policy the Sultan would like to know the permanent policy of the U.S. in regard to Morocco.

2nd Question.

The Jews have never been the predominant people in Morocco. In numbers and in influence they have always been definitely second. They have been well treated by the Moslems. When the German Armistice Commission arrived in Morocco they at first insisted that the Jews in Morocco should be treated the same as they are in Germany. This the Sultan steadfastly refused to do.

The existing situation has been the result of centuries of living together. The Moslems need the Jews and the Jews need the Moslems.

There is no Jewish question in Morocco and will be none if matters are left as they are now. Some Jews thought that the arrival of U.S. troops would mean the placing of Jews in positions of authority over the Moslems. This must not be.

3rd Question.

Morocco is greatly in need of supplies of certain foods, clothing, machines, etc. The prestige of the U.S. has been drawn into this question somewhat as there have been statements to the effect that needed goods would arrive. It is hoped that the very evident needs of Morocco can be supplied at an early date.

4th Question.

The Sultan is certain that the war will end in a victory for the U.S. This victory will be followed by a treaty of peace. When the time arrives to discuss the conditions of the peace it is the Sultan’s intention to throw himself in the arms of Mr. Roosevelt. Provided Mr. Roosevelt will accept him and his country.

If Mr. Roosevelt accepts the Sultan proposes to hold a plebiscite of his people. The Sultan is certain that all his people both in French and Spanish Morocco will be in agreement and wish to place their future in Mr. Roosevelt’s hands.

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The Grand Vizier stated that this last subject was one concerning which he requested that absolute secrecy be maintained, that he desired that it be presented only to Mr. Roosevelt. Mr. Hopkins stated that it would be for Mr. Roosevelt’s ears alone.

Mr. Hopkins stated that he could make a general reply now as he is thoroughly familiar with Mr. Roosevelt’s views.

General Reply.

Mr. Roosevelt believes that this war is a life and death struggle. For the present all efforts must be devoted to beating Germany, Italy, and Japan.

We believe that we will succeed and that complete victory will be gained.

Indicated by plane production.

Gave figures.

The war will be pursued until Germany Italy and Japan agree to unconditional surrender.

The President is aware of the difficulties now confronting Morocco. He realizes the situation the Sultan was in when the German Armistice Commission attempted to force him to comply with their demands. The Sultan proved himself to be a man of character and force and the President honors him for it and knows him to be a great man.

In the past armies have come into countries and after peace was restored have remained under one pretext or another. The American army will not remain in Morocco.

Powerful countries have exploited smaller countries; wealth and resources have been siphoned out for the benefit of the powerful country. Mr. Hopkins wished the G.V. to assure the Sultan that it is not the intention of the U.S. to exploit Morocco. It is hoped that closer economic relations can be established as airplanes and improved sea transport will bring the two countries closer together.

The President feels that many peoples of the world have not had their rightful share of the good things of the world. He feels that they can and will have them after the victory has been gained.

The President feels that there is no reason to change the present government of Morocco and has no intention of forcing other changes on any people.

Casablanca was selected for the conference somewhat by chance. It should prove beneficial to Morocco for it has enabled the President to see Morocco and meet the Sultan. The President has been profoundly impressed, and his visit will be of great benefit for he has become a warm friend of the Sultan and his country.

Mr. Hopkins stated that he could not give a final answer to all the questions; that with reference to supplies for the civilian population, they will be sent but military needs must come first.

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The President knows that the people of Morocco are concerned. They should not be unduly so. The final outcome can be awaited with certainty.

Mr. Hopkins thanked the Grand Vizier for his frankness and stated that he would give the President a full and exact report of the discussion.

W. H. Wilbur

Brig. Gen.
  1. The source text is handwritten. Wilbur served as interpreter at this meeting.