The Ambassador in the United Kingdom (Winant) to the Secretary of State

No. 27747

Sir: As a result of a slight difference of opinion between an officer of the Embassy and Under Secretary Harvey,2 respecting the terms of the Anglo-French Agreement of last August, concerning the status of Tangier,3 Mr. Harvey has written the following letter:—

“When you called on New Year’s Eve we spoke about the question of calling the full conference on Tangier in Paris, and I recalled that according to the decision reached last summer there could be no conference so long as the Franco regime lasted.4 I have checked our records and quote below the relevant provisions which were agreed in Paris. The Anglo-French Agreement, Article 2, states that ‘As soon as possible and not later than six months from the establishment of the Provisional regime, the French Government will convoke a conference at Paris of the following powers parties to the Act of Algeciras:5 United States of America, Belgium, United Kingdom, Spain, France, Netherlands, Portugal, Sweden, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and, subject to Article 11 below, Italy.’

“Resolution No. 1 in the Final Act is in the same sense but both these statements are, however, subject to the declaration made by the United States, British and French delegations at the end of the Final Act. Paragraph 2 of this declaration runs as follows:

‘While considering that the conference of the powers signatory to the Act of Algeciras should not be held without Spain, the three delegations do not think it desirable that Spain should be invited to the conference so long as the present government in Spain continues in power; they suggest that at the appropriate moment [Page 573] the French Government should consult on the question of the conference with the United States, British and Soviet Governments.’

“As we see it, there is therefore no question of a conference being called so long as Franco is in power, though in April, after the interim agreement has run its term of six months, it will be open to the French Government to discuss with your Government, the Soviet Government and with ourselves any problem of policy in regard to the calling of a conference. Admittedly the drafting on this point is not tidy owing to last minute difficulties at the conference but the above is the effect of the conclusions as a whole as we see them. At present, however, the provisional regime seems to be settling down satisfactorily and it does not look as if it will be necessary to raise the question of a full conference in the near future—unless, of course. Franco goes.”

The Embassy is not convinced that the viewpoint expressed by Mr. Harvey in his closing paragraph was in the minds of all of the Delegates present at the Paris conference, and for this reason the matter is brought to the attention of the Department.

Respectfully yours,

For the Ambassador:
W. Perry George

Counselor of Embassy
  1. Oliver Harvey, Acting Assistant Under Secretary of State, British Foreign Office.
  2. The texts of the Anglo-French Agreement, August 31, 1945, and the Final Act of the Paris Conference concerning re-establishment of the International Zone of Tangier, also dated August 31, 1945, are printed in the Department of State Bulletin, October 21, 1945, pp. 613–618.
  3. For documentation on the attitude of the United States with respect to the Franco regime in Spain, see vol. v, pp. 1023 ff.
  4. Signed April 7, 1906; for text, see Foreign Relations, 1906, pt. 2, p. 1495, or Department of State Treaty Series No. 456.