702.5181/20a: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Chargé at Tangier (Childs)

52. The following telegram has been sent to Madrid:29

“Reference Tangier’s recent telegrams regarding Vichy consular representatives Genty and Piretti.

The British believe that steps should be taken to point out to the Spanish Government that the establishment of these Vichy officials in Tangier would be highly embarrassing, especially in view of the support given by General Giraud30 to the present French Consul General La Vastre. Unless you perceive objection, therefore, it is suggested that you discuss this matter informally with the Spanish authorities as soon as possible, asking them to refrain from according recognition to any French consular officers in Tangier except La Vastre and those serving under him. The British propose to take parallel action, and you should inform your British colleague of the action you take.

It is needless to mention to you that the presence of these Vichy agents would afford an excellent opportunity to the Axis for obtaining reports as to our operations in the North African area, and it therefore appears desirable to us to prevent them from taking up residence in Tangier.”

You are authorized to consult with your British colleague, who is understood to be receiving instructions from his Government, and if you agree that a useful purpose would be served you may approach the local Spanish authorities along the above lines.

  1. As telegram No. 456, same date.
  2. Gen. Henri Giraud, High Commissioner in French North Africa.