851R.00/8–756: Airgram

The Consul at Rabat (Pasquet) to the Secretary of State


A–39. Reference Department’s Secret instruction A.F. of July 11, 1946 (File No. 851R.00). While there is no doubt that the Communist Party in Morocco is endeavoring to increase its following, within the last few months propaganda has been decreasing largely as a result of the party’s set back in recent French and Moroccan elections. The “line” used has been against the trusts, be they foreign or French, and against exploitation of native farmers. It might be more properly stated that Communist dominated “Confederation Generale du Travail” has been spreading this line and Communist Party giving it lip service which served its purpose.

Influence of Communists on natives has been extremely limited, almost negligible, and Nationalists have always maintained that gap separating the Islamic and Communist conceptions of life is too great to be bridged. Recent reliable rumors that Nationalists and Communists were uniting for political reasons seem to have some basis but reliable sources state that negotiations were definitely broken off by Nationalists. Chief of Security for Morocco claims, as confirmed by two other reliable sources that there are no more than 2500 convinced Communists in Casablanca (of whom possibly 1000 French and remainder Spaniards) and 200 in Rabat the latter being found principally in the lower echelon of French civil servants.

There is no doubt that any widespread gain of Communism either in France or Morocco (which seems unlikely at present) would find strong opposition not only in the local French Army group but among the colons (French landed farmers) and the Nationalists as well [as the] Sultan and his government. Any spread of Communism would undermine the position of these classes, and they will simply not tolerate it. It should not be forgotten that there are many retired Colonels, Generals, and a smattering of naval officers who are convinced that France cannot live without her colonies and protectorates. This group is furthermore convinced of the coming conflict between the USSR on the one side and the Anglo-American bloc and Western Europe on the other, some going so far as to say that France will again be occupied, with part of Germany joining each camp. They maintain therefore that French North Africa must be kept open for future defense of Western Europe.