811.20 Defense (M) Spain/783: Telegram

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

911. From Murphy.

Butterworth and Wyndham White in consultation with officials of NAEB have completed a series of conversations with the French regarding resumption of French North African-Iberian trade which have resulted in agreement. The arrangements agreed upon with the French authorities are embodied in a memorandum45 which they initialed yesterday but of course subject to final approval being given by Washington and London. Also this settlement with the French embodies the desiderata which the American and British missions in Madrid and Lisbon have put forward.
To avoid duplication and to lighten the burden on our coding staff which is some days behind on incoming messages I am not telegraphing the text of the memorandum or the lists of products which constitute appendices A and B thereto but the British Embassy in Washington is being requested to give copies to you and likewise the British Embassies in Madrid and Lisbon to our Missions there.
The following are Butterworth’s comments on the settlement reached:
It provides a degree of flexibility which will give us freedom to maneuver as the circumstances in the Mediterranean and in French North Africa change. In so doing it also meets the recommendations of the American and British Missions in Madrid and Lisbon which attach great importance to flexibility from point of view of dealing with Spaniards and Portuguese. Furthermore, the realization that under this arrangement the continued flow of phosphates would be dependent [Page 42] on shipment of supplies from Iberia to French North Africa helped considerably in obtaining French concurrence to token shipments.
Through the mechanism of the Tripartite Committees in Madrid and Lisbon and Algiers we should be able both to keep the trade under adequate control and at the same time to satisfy the strong French desire to take the lead in the trade discussions. Our control is reinforced by the French [apparent omission] employ the UKCC as their final contracting agents even if and when a bureau commerciale is in operation.
Royce47 and Herbert approved the formula in paragraph No. 7 of the memorandum which they feel should give them sufficient control to coordinate distribution of Iberian imports with those from other sources.
It has been made quite clear to Owns [sic] that the lists must be regarded as tentative and are subject not only to such reasonable changes as you and London may recommend but also to variation from time to time. In this connection please refer to last sentence of appendices A and B.
A Monsieur Drouin48 is expected to leave shortly for Madrid where he will contact British and American Embassies with a view to arranging for an initial meeting of the Tripartite Committee. A similar procedure will be followed in Lisbon.

Butterworth is returning the Peninsula but Wyndham-White who has other matters to attend to in Algiers will remain here for at least 10 days and will therefore be in a position to handle any details which may arise.

Sent to Department, Liberia, Lisbon and Madrid. [Murphy.]

  1. See enclosure to despatch No. 162, May 21, from the Chief Civil Administrator in French North Africa, p. 43.
  2. Alexander B. Royce, Director of Economic Operations of the Civil Affairs Office, Allied Forces Headquarters, North Africa.
  3. Roger Drouin, representative in Spain of the French Committee in Algiers.