The Secretary of State ad
interim to the Ambassador in the United Kingdom
5371. The Soviet Ambassador2 told me this morning that he had been instructed by his Government to inform the American Government that:
- The Soviet Government had been informed by the British and French Embassies in Moscow that following an exchange of opinions among the British, French, and American Governments, a meeting of experts of those three Governments was to take place in Paris on July 3 in order to discuss Tangier.
- The Soviet Government was interested in Tangier and was surprised that its opinion had not been asked for and that it had not been invited to send experts to participate in the discussions.
- The Soviet Government requested that the meeting of experts be postponed until arrangements could be made for a Soviet expert to attend.
It was pointed out to the Ambassador that the American Government was not a signatory of the 1923 Statute and had not participated in the administration of Tangier based on that Statute; that nevertheless, in view of the interest which the United States had displayed in Tangier as expressed in its maintenance there of a Diplomatic Agent, the British and French Governments had asked the American Government to participate in the discussions; that it was understood that the Soviet Government had not been invited because it had not, since its establishment, displayed any interest whatsoever in Tangier; that nevertheless the American Government had consented to participate in the discussions on the condition that the Soviet Government be informed that they were to take place and be kept fully advised of decisions taken; that although the American Government would welcome the participation of Soviet representatives in the discussions, it was in a sense a guest at the meeting and the decision with regard to the Soviet request would rest primarily with the British and French Governments; that in view of the urgency of replacing the present Spanish regime in Tangier with a regime under Allied control, it was hoped that the Soviet Government would not press for any extensive postponement of the conversations; that it was the understanding of this Government that the discussions in Paris were for the purpose merely of arranging for the Spanish regime to be replaced by a temporary regime pending a subsequent agreement among all interested powers with regard to the future administration of Tangier.
The Soviet Ambassador was also informed that the United States Government would instruct its Ambassadors in London and Paris to communicate its views to the British and French Governments.
Please therefore inform the appropriate authorities of the Government to which you are accredited that your Government hopes that in view of the interest expressed by the Soviet Government in Tangier, favorable consideration will be given to the Soviet request that Soviet representatives be permitted to participate in the conversations.
Sent to Paris as No. 3049; repeated to Moscow as No. 1493.