The Consul General at Casablanca (Russell) to the Secretary of State
[Received 9:30 p.m.]
76. Another situation similar to that described in my 32, February 4, 5 p.m. has arisen. In three different cases protégés have sent me originals of letters from Protectorate authorities stating that they must apply to French military commanders of their regions for permission to operate their cars and that this permission is obligatory for every civilian car circulating in Morocco even if used and owned by American ressortissant as result of agreement with American authorities. I find that such agreement was made by our military authorities in Algiers.
This restriction is flatly contrary to our treaty rights in Morocco and was put into force without the slightest discussion with or notification [Page 514]to Department of State agencies in Morocco by either our military authorities or Rabat.
Effect is same as in olive requisitions.
I request authorization to inform Protectorate authorities that we cannot accept the restriction as the Department of State is only agency that could make such agreement legal and applicable to American ressortissants.
As reported to Tangier the Protectorate authorities are attempting to ride roughshod over American treaty rights by invoking war measures of all kinds and using as tools the ignorance as to our treaty rights of other of our Government agencies in Algiers the actions of which compromise our situation and prevent insistence on treaty rights in general. There is every evidence of a definite continued campaign on the part of Protectorate Government to defeat our extraterritorial position here.
Repeated to Algiers as my 15, to Tangier as my 20, copy true reading to Rabat.