881.00/7–645: Telegram

No. 675
The Acting Secretary of State to the Ambassador in France ( Caffery )


3271. 1) With regard to the French proposals our ideas are as follows: (Urtel 4061 July 6 six p.m.1 from Villard).

The American Government can agree to the purposes of the conversations as set forth in paragraph 3 of your telegram under reference. The term “international administration” as used in that [Page 1006] paragraph should not, however, be construed, so far as this Government is concerned, as the particular administration set up by the Statute of 1923. This Government has not adhered to and cannot adhere to that statute. A temporary administration in many respects similar to that set up under that statute would be agreeable to this Government provided American nationals and, if desired by the Soviet Union, Soviet nationals would have an appropriate participation in it. We would have no objection if the French on their part would consider the statute of 1923 as the legal basis for this temporary administration.
The American Government suggests that any agreement arrived at during the conversations shall contain an undertaking entered into by the Governments participating: that within a period of twelve months after the establishment of the provisional administration there shall be convened a conference of all parties still possessing rights arising from the Act of Algeciras in order to decide upon a permanent administration for Tangier; that an announcement setting forth this undertaking shall be made upon the termination of the present conversations; and that this announcement shall also contain statements to the effect that the powers participating in the conversations are fully mindful of the rights of the other parties to the Act of Algeciras and of the sovereign rights of the Sultan of Morocco.

2) We are giving consideration to suggesting to those participating in the conversations the following proposal: In case the powers possessing rights based on the Act of Algeciras have been unable to arrive at an agreement with regard to the permanent status of Tangier within eighteen months following the establishment of the temporary administration, they should give full and active support to inviting the United Nations Organization to administer the International Zone of Tangier on behalf of the Sultan of Morocco under the Trusteeship arrangements provided in Chapters XII and XIII of the Charter of the United Nations.2

3) We have examined the tentative British proposals enclosed with London’s despatch no. 23896 of June 25.3 We believe that they represent a satisfactory basis for negotiations and shall leave to you and your experts the task of altering them in so far as is necessary to protect our special interests and rights and of making necessary technical drafting changes. We note that they contemplate including in the agreement for the temporary regime the signatories of the 1923 Statute. We do not object but we do not consider the inclusion of all these countries necessary, regardless of the legal niceties involved, in order to set up a merely temporary regime to replace the present Spanish administration. We do not, however, approve of the [Page 1007] provision in Article 1 to the effect that the temporary regime remain in force until it is replaced by a convention “accepted by all the parties” to the Statute of 1923. Do you consider it advisable that a single country, such as for instance Spain, should have the power to block the setting up of a new permanent regime while signatories of the Act of Algeciras such as Russia and ourselves would not have powers of a similar nature? We feel strongly that a situation should not be allowed to develop in which one or more Powers by refusing to agree to the type of a permanent regime agreeable to others could convert the temporary regime into a permanent regime. Therefore some formula should be devised to prevent such a development. The suggestions contained in Paragraph 2 above may be helpful in this connection.

We also believe that, if the Soviet Union insists, participation of the Soviet Union in the temporary administration of a character similar to that contemplated for the United States should be arranged. We are opposed to an indefinite postponement of the conversations. We do not object, however, to the postponement for a period of perhaps a week pending the arrival of Soviet representatives.

Repeated to London as no. 5754; to Madrid as no. 1191; to Tangier as no. 152.

  1. Document No. 670.
  2. Treaty Series No. 993; 59 Stat. (2) 1031.
  3. Not printed. Enclosed with this despatch were (1) a detailed British draft of an agreement on a temporary administration for Tangier and (2) British proposals for amending the Statute of 1923 to provide for a permanent administration for Tangier.