881.00/9–447: Airgram

The Ambassador in France (Caffery) to the Secretary of State

top secret

A–1385. Reference is made to restricted airgram No. 1381 of September 3, 1947,1 reporting the private interview recently granted by Resident General Juin to Mr. Jean Eparvier, special correspondent of the Figaro, which published his article on the above date.

It is felt that it may be of some interest to consider General Juin’s declarations in connection with the recommendations of the North African meeting pertaining to Morocco, which were transmitted in this Embassy’s despatch No. 9033 of June 20, 1947.

There seems to be no difference of opinion concerning the ultimate objective of any Moroccan program. The North African Conference felt that full “autonomy” should be ultimately granted and purposely used the terms: “something comparable to full dominion status.” General Juin is quoted as recognizing the legitimacy of the Nationalists’ claim for a change in the relationship between France and Morocco and as having said: “The Treaty of 1912 obliges us to carry this evolution through.” The Resident General specifically declared that at the end of the period of evolution Morocco should have “its own Government” and that the only tie with France would be an association based on “common interests and common security.” Eparvier further reports Juin as anxious to “hasten” this evolution. In another part of the interview Juin is further reported as having said that his Government is intent on “bringing reforms into being which shall lead Morocco towards the destinies which it cherishes.”

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Thus, without wishing to place undue emphasis on public statements before they are substantiated by concrete measures, it would seem that the Nationalists’ oft repeated allegation that real French policy is a desire to perpetuate the status quo with merely superficial changes, seems to be refuted. A change of policy at Paris could, of course, reverse the present trend; but this, as matters now stand, appears to be improbable.

General Juin, referring to any selfish “colonialist spirit” which might exist in certain French circles in Morocco, has now pledged himself to fight it.

In the same way, the Resident General has now publicly admitted that the French administration has become overstaffed and cumbersome and would be reorganized.

Concerning the economic well-being of Morocco and the natives, General Juin would appear to have expressed suitable and adequate interest; and in this connection it may be of interest to note that in the current drastic reduction of dollar imports by Metropolitan France, announced on August 29, 1947, in view of France’s acute dollar shortage, the French Government has purposely refrained from a corresponding scaling down of dollar imports into the Protectorates of France as well as into her Colonies.

If the recommendations of the North African Conference are now examined, we find three major subjects which were not touched upon in the interview under consideration:

school program;
gradual democratic education of the Moroccan people;
time table for institution of these reforms, to permit the periodic drawing up of a balance sheet to bear witness to both parties’ good faith.

With respect to (a), the school program, reports have been received in Paris that General Juin has recognized on several occasions the necessity for its immediate implementation. It is believed that the omission of this subject has little significance.

With regard to (b), the democratic education of the Moroccan people, certain references to this subject have also been made by General Juin since his arrival in Morocco, though these statements may not yet have gone so far as the North African Conference’s views on the subject.…

With regard to (c), a time table for the reform program, the omission of General Juin is felt to be considerably more important as, in full accord with the findings of the North African meeting, this Embassy is of the opinion that such a time table for the various reforms as well as setting a date limit for the granting of full local autonomy, [Page 704] is essential in order to dispel the suspicions of the Moroccan Nationalists relative to France’s good faith. At the same time it is obvious that such a far-reaching step as the elaboration and the announcement of such a time table cannot well be taken by General Juin on his own initiative but must result from a decision of the French Government itself.

With this last major comment, it is felt, from information available in Paris, that on the whole, Resident General Juin is earnestly bent on solving the Moroccan problem in a constructive fashion not incompatible with the recommendations of the North African meeting held in Paris, June 16–19, 1947.

  1. Not printed.