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

No. 128

Sir: I have the honor to refer to paragraph 3 of my secret despatch no. 118 of February 24, 19471 entitled, “Young Men’s Moslem Association and Moslem Brotherhood” and to report on some of the decisions of the “Conference de l’Occident Arabe” which was held at Cairo from February 15 to 20, 1947 at Cairo:

The Protectorate treaties covering Tunisia and Morocco are to be considered as having terminated and the non-recognition of the rights of France over Algeria is to be made effective.
Request the Nationalists of the three North African countries to proclaim the independence of Morocco, Tunisia, and Algeria (which has already been done publicly by the first two).
Demand of evacuation of the territories occupied by foreign forces.
Refuse to accept entry into the French Union in any manner whatever.
Consider as mourning days in North Africa
June 5, the day of occupation of Algeria on June 5, 1830.
March 30, the day of the Fez (Morocco) protectorate treaty of March 30, 1912.
May 12, the day of the Tunisian protectorate treaty of May 12, 1881.
Collaboration within and without the three North African countries in the fight to make their independence effective as well as the evacuation of their territories.
The conference decided to hand to one of the States member of the Arab League, after designation by the League, a memoir citing facts showing that France and Spain have not followed, by their colonialist attitude, the decisions of the United Nations guaranteeing the right of nations to dispose of themselves and asking that the question be raised at the next meeting of the United Nations.
Reports are to be prepared by the Nationalist parties of the three North African countries listing their complaints against the occupying powers.
Request the Arab League to cancel recognition by the League of the existing protectorate and conquest treaties and accept as members of the League representatives of these countries.
Request Arab League to support demands of North African countries at United Nations Assembly.
Demand that League send professors to North African countries and accept students from these countries.
Request League to send inquiry commission to North African countries.
Request that League arrange for the exchange of consular representatives between Arab countries.
The three Nationalist parties of Istiqlal, P.P.A., and Destour must form a Federation (probably with its seat in Paris) in order to present a common front for the defense of North Africa and adopt the following:
The three parties must have common goals i.e., evacuation and independence;
Organize a permanent committee representing the three Nationalist parties in order to agree on a common line of action;
Group in one single unit all labor unions of the three countries, uniformity of educational programs and economic plans;
Rise as a single unit when one of the countries is threatened.
The grouping in a single organization (Bureau du Maghreb Arabe), to have its seat in Cairo, Egypt, of representatives of the Istiqlal, P.P.A., and Destour parties. North African League and of the representatives of Spanish Morocco at the Arab League.

Anniversary of Arab League

The second anniversary of the Arab League was celebrated privately and in a dignified manner in Rabat on March 22, 1947 by the Istiqlal Party and the organizers decorated the premises with the flags of all nations members of the League. There are reliably reported to have been about 5,000 persons present many of whom listened from the street and women from the terraces to speeches and recitations which were broadcast through loudspeakers so that all could hear. Similar [Page 678] celebrations were held in the principal cities of Morocco. The protectorate authorities undoubtedly knew of the plans beforehand and troups paraded in Rabat and Fez as a gentle reminder against possible disturbances of which there were none. The Resident General who was visiting officially Souk el Arba on that day took the opportunity to include in his speech a gentle reminder that France intended to remain everywhere where she was and he ended his speech as follows:

“If it should happen that the rights of France be contested, that one should pretend to disturb order, France’s reply is as firm as is her fraternal resolution. Witness the events of Indo-China. There, at the other end of the world, France furnishes proof that in the service of its resolution her sons, as always, are ready to sacrifice their lives. It will be the same all over and all the more firmly that the strength of France, whatever the superficial vicissitudes of political life, reconstitutes rapidly its cohesion, its means and its power.”

The warning was of course not lost on the organizing members of the Istiqlal Party and while they had not planned any disturbances they redoubled their efforts that none should occur during the celebrations.

Respectfully yours,

Maurice Pasquet
  1. Not printed.