740.0011 European War 1939/27000: Telegram
The Chargé in Tangier (Childs) to the Secretary of State
[Received January 8—11:12 a.m.]
19. My 7 January 2, 8 p.m.99 General Patton met General Orgaz at Arbaoua at noon today and was escorted by Orgaz to Larache where luncheon was served. In addition to a number of Orgaz’ staff officers General Ninzian of the Larache garrison and General Bartolomeo of the Ceuta garrison were present.
The meeting took place in a spirit of unusual cordiality for Orgaz and Silvela, Spanish Consul present with me stated Orgaz was exceedingly pleased. I personally have never found Orgaz as informal and affable as he showed himself today. Aside from the usual exchange of mutual good wishes General Patton emphasized to Orgaz the assurances President Roosevelt had given concerning the absence of any territorial ambition on the part of the United States in North Africa incident to our military operations in this area.
One of the most notable statements made by Orgaz was the expression of his opinion that General Patton had no more important problem to face in French Morocco than that involving the relations of his troops with the native population. Orgaz emphasized that this of course, was a matter wholly concerning General Patton but he was moved to make the observation as one soldier to another in the spirit of mutual frankness which had characterized their meeting. General Patton stated he fully appreciated this and had taken all possible measures to guard against incidents on the part of the troops with the natives. General Patton asked if Orgaz had heard of any unfavorable comment concerning these relations or if any particular untoward incidents had been brought to his notice. Orgaz replied that on the contrary he had heard nothing but the most favorable reports of the behavior of American troops (this statement is particularly interesting by reason of the widespread Axis propaganda in Tangier and Spanish Morocco reporting the mistreatment of Moorish women and the native population by our forces).[Page 530]
In my opinion General Patton’s visit was most successful and made the most favorable impression on Orgaz and his officers.
Repeated to Madrid, Casablanca and to Algiers.
- Not printed.↩