772.11/7–1050: Telegram

The Consul General at Tunis (Packer) to the Secretary of State


7. During farewell call Resident General today he informed me following effect:

He is now carrying on conversations with Bey which are going well concerning reform program. Reforms will consist various stages leading self-government. Announcement two measures may be made within next month or so. First measure will be re constitution Cabinet Ministers giving Tunisians majority 7 against 6 French. Cabinet sessions will be presided over by a new Prime Minister. Resident General will not attend sessions, even in his capacity Minister Foreign Affairs, even in Foreign Affairs of Bey, since Cabinet will deal only with internal affairs. Secretary General will no longer “visa” (that is approve) all measures adopted by Cabinet. New Secretary General will be appointed.

Second measure will provide for larger number places for Tunisians in civil service including upper levels where however many French still be employed, particularly jobs requiring technical knowledge.

I said US interested maintenance peace this area; that in view American people’s and Government’s interest in advancement non-self-governing [Page 1781] peoples felt Washington would welcome any measures giving Tunisians greater measure self-government.

Accomplished and projected personnel changes internal office, rearrangement within Residency and cockiness Resident General indicates new broom destined effect clean sweep.

Departing for Paris and Washington tomorrow.1

Repeated info Paris 6.

  1. Packer subsequently retired from the Foreign Service on August 31, after 30 years service. He was succeeded as Consul General at Tunis in late July by John D. Jernegan, until then Director of the Office of Greek, Turkish, and Iranian Affairs.