Memorandum of Conversation, by Mr. John D. Jernegan of the Division of Near Eastern Affairs

I told Mr. Wyndham White21 in a general way of the reports we have been receiving from Tangier regarding General Orgaz and also regarding the supply problem in Tangier and Spanish Morocco. I explained that we were interested in the possibilities of the situation and were considering sending a letter to Mr. Childs suggesting that he sound out Orgaz with respect to a possible economic agreement along the lines of the arrangement with French North Africa, Our latest information was to the effect that British reverses in Libya had made the moment unpropitious for a political démarche, but we felt that an economic approach was still possible and might well pave the way for later action.

Mr. Wyndham White agreed entirely with this point of view and said that he thought it would be a very good idea to demonstrate to Orgaz that he can get along without metropolitan Spain, through our assistance. He mentioned that Great Britain at present allows certain quotas of supplies to be sent to Spanish Morocco, which, he [Page 451] said, is not within the blockade zone, and pointed out that any new agreement would have to take into consideration the existence of these quotas and the necessity for ascertaining more exactly just what the needs of the Zone are. He agreed, however, that this is a detail which could be worked out once the principle of assistance is decided upon.

I emphasized that the whole idea is extremely tentative on our part so far, as it has not even been discussed outside of the Near Eastern Division, and that it may not be approved by the executive officers.

  1. First Secretary of the British Embassy.