740.00112 European War 1939/5814½

The First Secretary of the British Embassy (Wyndham White) to the Chief of the Division of Near Eastern Affairs (Alling)

(W. T. 109/43/42)

My Dear Alling: In view of our conversation yesterday evening38 about the proposed economic negotiation with General Orgaz, you will be interested in the attached paraphrases of two telegrams we have had on this subject, one from the Foreign Office and one from the British Embassy in Madrid.39

Yours sincerely,

Eric Wyndham White

Paraphrase of a Telegram From the British Foreign Office to the British Ambassador in the United States (Halifax)

The case against an attempt to reach a separate agreement with Spanish Morocco is stated in earlier telegrams from Madrid on this subject (see Mr. Wyndham White’s letter to Mr. Villard of June 2nd). The following points should also be emphasized:—

The Central Government maintains complete control of all economic and political matters affecting the territory. For example, no export licences could be granted by the local authorities without reference to Madrid. Furthermore, if the High Commissioner were to give any political undertaking contrary to the policy of the Central Government, he would be immediately dismissed. Finally, it must not be overlooked that the United Kingdom already takes the whole iron ore output of the Riff mines which constitute the only substantial export of Spanish Morocco. Any proposals, therefore, for a separate agreement between the United States and Spanish Morocco would have to be carefully considered in order to avoid the danger of interrupting this export to which we attach the greatest importance.

The United States Government should also know that we have recently received reports of closer military co-operation in the Spanish Zone between the Spanish and Axis military authorities with the full knowledge of General Orgaz. These reports do not suggest that any immediate action is imminent, but they do suggest that it would be unwise to assume that General Orgaz would necessarily take the right decision should a crisis occur.

If the United States Government decide, nevertheless, to proceed with this proposal, the British Government hope that in view of the [Page 469] close cooperation which is developing between the two Governments with regard to the Peninsular economic policy they could be kept informed and given an opportunity to comment on the details of the proposed plan.

  1. No record of conversation found in Department files.
  2. Telegram from the British Embassy in Madrid not attached to file copy.