121.67/3585: Telegram

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

948. From Murphy.4 Tangier’s 722, May 21, noon. The Consulate in Rabat has submitted a similar report regarding detention of Owen and Chatfield.

In view of this arbitrary action on the part of the Spanish customs officials I recommend that a strong protest be lodged with the Spanish Government at Madrid and that retaliatory measures be taken against Spanish official couriers leaving the United States unless prompt satisfaction is obtained. I believe the matter should be discussed between the Spanish and American Governments and do not propose to recommend retaliatory measures here unless the Department so instructs me. The headquarters of the Fifth Army is being informed of this message but is prepared to take whatever course of action is judged most suitable.

To Department, repeated to Tangier, Madrid and Rabat for General Clark. [Murphy.]

  1. Robert D. Murphy, Special Representative of the President in French North Africa.