Conference Files: Lot 59 D 95: CF 88

Paper Prepared in the Department of State1

[WFM F–4a]



To harmonize French and US views on Morocco.

us objectives

  • a) To maintain stability in Morocco so that Morocco can make the maximum contribution to Western security and our air bases may be utilized and protected.
  • b) To assist the French in making necessary economic and social reforms and in guiding Moroccan political evolution toward self-government at a sufficiently rapid rate to forestall nationalist uprisings.
  • c) To cooperate with France in the promotion of friendly relations with the Moroccan people.

french position

  • a) Morocco should eventually become an associated state in the French Union and France alone is the power to guide Morocco to this status.
  • b) The present Moroccan nationalist movement is not representative of the mass of the people which have not yet achieved sufficient state of development to assume the responsibilities of self-government.
  • c) France is doing and will do everything within its power to hasten such evolution.
  • d) France desires to cooperate with the US militarily and economically in Morocco so that Morocco can make its maximum contribution to Western security.

sultan’s position

  • a) Requests revision of the Protectorate Treaty of 1912.
  • b) Withholds approval of the French-sponsored decrees on the ground that they would institute reforms that are in derogation of his sovereignty.
  • c) Wishes to remain friendly with France, but would relinquish his sovereignty only to a purely Moroccan assembly.
  • d) Avoided French demand in January that he denounce the Istiqlal Party but, in the face of Berber demonstrations and a French threat of possible deposition, he compromised to the extent of denouncing all extremists.
  • e) Derived great satisfaction and encouragement from President Roosevelt’s visit of 1943 but is somewhat disappointed over our present neutral policy in Morocco.
  • f) With Oriental patience he is capable of awaiting the preoccupation of France elsewhere in a world struggle.

istiqlal position

  • a) Supports the Sultan.
  • b) Seeks to gain Moroccan independence.
  • c) Solicits Arab League and other Moslem support, particularly in presenting the Moroccan problem to the United Nations.
  • d) Seeks the support or at least the neutrality of the United States in the dispute.
  • e) Believes the French Residency is bent on strengthening the legal foothold of France and Frenchmen in Morocco, rather than guiding the evolutionary development of the Moroccan people.

position of the moslem world and arab league

  • a) The Arab League and Moslem world generally, support the Moroccan nationalists and in March five Arab countries asked France to grant independence to Morocco.
  • b) The possibility exists that the Arab countries might raise the Moroccan problem in the United Nations which would place the US and France in an embarrassing position.

us position to be presented to mr. schuman

  • a) Our objectives in Morocco are: (1) To maintain stability in Morocco so that Morocco can make the maximum contribution to Western security; (2) To assist the French in guiding Moroccan [Page 1386] social, economic and political evolution. We desire to work with the French in achieving these objectives and want them to realize that we are not working against them in Morocco. By the same token, the French will appreciate that we have an interest in maintaining our traditional friendship with the Moroccan people as we have throughout the Arab world.
  • b) We are most appreciative of the assistance we have received from the French Government in obtaining certain military privileges in the Sheriffian Empire and fully recognize the importance of military collaboration in that area.
  • c) We do not believe Morocco is ready for independence. We are of the opinion that only by following an evolutionary policy in that country can France bring that area of the world to make its maximum contribution to the security of the West. We recognize that reforms have already been instituted in Morocco and hope that this policy will continue to develop under the new Resident General. While we recognize the different situations existing in Morocco and Tunisia, due largely to French influence in the latter area since 1883, we are looking forward to evolution in Morocco along lines similar to those followed in Tunisia.
  • d) In our view this policy must be accompanied by restraint and moderation on the part of not only the Moroccan nationalists and Arab League but also of the responsible French officials in Morocco. We are prepared to use our influence to this end.
  • e) As Mr. Schuman will recall, when the question of deposition of the Sultan was under consideration early in this year we expressed our concern over such action. Our view remains the same due to the unfortunate effect that such action would have on French relations with the Moslem world and that it might lead to Arab League action before the United Nations which would be embarrassing.
  • f) In refuting charges raised particularly by Moslem countries that French policy in Morocco is repressive rather than evolutionary we are in a difficult position in that at present we are not familiar with French policy nor even with the scope of the decrees (dahirs) proposed to the Sultan. We hope that it might be possible for the French Government to inform us of its plans in that area and would be glad to discuss them at the convenience of the French Government. We are certain that such discussions would permit us to support French policy more effectively.
  1. Attached to the source text was a cover sheet, not printed, which indicated that this paper had been approved by NEA and EUR following a briefing session with Secretary Acheson on August 28. The cover sheet also indicated that it was circulated as WFM F–4a in the records of the Department of State. A previous draft, WFM F-4, dated August 27, which is the same in substance as the paper printed here, is in the Conference Files: Lot 59 D 95: CF 88. Papers designated WFM F were prepared for bilateral talks with the French during the meetings of the Foreign Ministers of the United States, United Kingdom, and France held in Washington during September. For a record of the discussion on Morocco, see U.S.-Fr. Min-1, infra.