811.2381/71: Telegram

The Counselor of Legation at Tangier (Childs) to the Secretary of State

168. Orgaz, who leaves for Madrid tomorrow for a week, received me today when I left him a first-person note38 on subject of Department’s 1689 to Madrid.

As Naval Attaché had never been presented to Orgaz I thought occasion suitable one for Gilmore to accompany me.

Orgaz said he would give immediate orders that blimps should not be fired on under any circumstances and asked if I could assure him they would not drop charges in Spanish Moroccan territorial waters. I said our aircraft would have to reserve right to fire on enemy subs escaping into such waters or lurking therein and he did not press that point.

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I then suggested desirability of his issuing orders to prevent firing on planes in sending warning shots against planes unintentionally over Spanish Moroccan territorial waters. I suggested danger of incident would be eliminated if such orders were given. I suggested that if he were willing to give such orders I could assure him there would be no intentional intrusion by our planes except in pursuit of enemy subs or instead of firing even warning shot against such planes I proposed orders be given that no shot should be fired and that he should notify Legation of violation of Spanish Moroccan territorial waters that we would communicate these to Moroccan Ocean Sea Command, that our naval authorities would take appropriate action against offending pilots. He agreed.

Orgaz suggested on his own that it would simplify matters since British as well as American planes were involved if British would give him similar assurances in which case he would agree that British planes should not be fired on. He added that British had made numerous reconnaissance flights over Spanish Moroccan territorial waters and had taken many photos. I said I could not speak for British but I would transmit his offer at once to Gascoigne.

Repeated to Madrid as our 80; repeated to London as our 8.

  1. Copy of note was transmitted to the Department by the Counselor of Legation at Tangier in his despatch 2141, June 13; neither printed.