800.20281/55: Airgram

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

A–112. Reference is made to the Legation’s despatch No. 2122 of June 1, 194479 reporting the submittal to the Spanish High Commissioner of a list of Italian Republican Fascists for expulsion from Spanish North Africa as Axis agents under the terms of our recent accord with the Spanish Government.

The Legation is now undertaking to prepare a supplementary list of such Axis agents, including Hungarians, White Russians, Vichy French and other Axis agents about which opinion is unanimous on the part of British and American services in Tangier.

The question has been raised whether the Vichy representatives in Tangier might appropriately be included in a list of Axis agents to be submitted to the Spanish High Commissioner for expulsion. In this connection reference is made to the Treasury Department’s P.I. No. 15 under Foreign Funds Control, concerning the application of General Ruling No. 11, as amended, to diplomatic representatives of the Vichy Government, where it is held that “The Vichy Government and its representatives, wherever situated, are acting for the Government of Germany within the meaning of Section (4) (a) (i) of General Ruling No. 11, as amended, …”

However, neither my British colleague nor my French colleague nor I believe that the Vichy representative in Tangier is engaged in activities sufficiently inimical to our interests at the present time to justify raising the question of his expulsion with the Spanish authorities. The Vichy representative’s influence is now practically nil as a result of his inclusion and that of his assistants in our Proclaimed List, which has had the effect of reducing his authority to insignificance. The closing of the French-Spanish Moroccan frontier reduces still further the opportunity for evil practices on the part of the Vichy representative and his associates. Moreover, as has been previously reported to the Department, General Orgaz seems to have taken a personal interest in the Vichy representative here (perhaps because of a sense of loyalty to the representatives of a Government still recognized by the Spanish) and any effort on our part at the present time to oust the Vichy representatives might irritate Orgaz [Page 551] to the point where the whole program of the removal of Axis agents might be jeopardized. Accordingly it is our view that no action is called for with respect to the Vichy representatives at this time.

  1. Not printed.