740.00112 European War 1939/3082: Telegram

The Consul General at Algiers (Cole) to the Secretary of State

351. From Murphy. During the course of my visit to Morocco last week I had conversations with several officers regarding the operation [Page 400] of economic plan and German infiltration. Among them General Noguès expressed to Consul General Russell50a and myself great satisfaction over the arrival of the first shipments. He expected favorable results both from a political and economic point of view. He said it was the most effective blow which could be dealt German propaganda. The Germans he said have made abundant promises of the economic aid they would bring to Morocco but so far they had made no deliveries. The Germans for months have scoffed at American aid as illusory. Noguès said that there is no doubt from conversations he has had with Auer,50b the German civilian delegate at Casablanca, and others that American economic intervention has had a most disquieting effect on the Germans.

Noguès said that there were last week a few under 200 German official personnel in Morocco due to several departures; that their propaganda efforts had noticeably diminished especially in the Fez area. He characterized the situation as calm. He had no worries for the moment regarding Spanish Morocco where he said there is no evidence of aggressive intentions. His recent meeting with the Spanish High Commissioner, Orgaz,51 involved an exchange of courtesy and a general discussion of economic topics but no reference to military matters.

Weygand’s services confirm this statement. Noguès and other officials said that the Germans have made two formal inquiries regarding the activities of our new consular control officers. Auer said he understood that there are “40” American vice consuls now in Morocco. It is evident from this and other rumors that the Germans intend to embarrass our officers by the circulation of stories to the best of their well-trained ability.

There is a marked decline of sentiment in favor of Franco-German collaboration in Morocco.

Code text by airmail to Vichy, Tangier and Casablanca. [Murphy.]

  1. Harry Earle Russell, Consul General at Casablanca.
  2. Theodor Auer, Chief of the German Armistice Commission at Casablanca.
  3. Gen. Luis Orgaz.