711.56371/5–1353: Telegram

The Consul at Rabat (Dorman) to the Department of State1


129. Reference Paris telegram 5875, May 92 to Department pouched Tangier, Rabat.

We feel any statement noninterference French policy North Africa would prejudice our interests Morocco. We unable differentiate between noninterference statement and giving blank check to France in North Africa however successfully latter might be disguised. Noninterference statement would not only be tacit admission interference in past but would negate economic, political and moral influence deriving from our special treaty rights Morocco.3 Such statement would convince majority Moroccan opinion that US had washed hands of Moroccan question in exchange for military concessions. Presumably Department has considered unfavorable repercussions any statement along lines suggested by French would have on Arab-Asiatic bloc.

We strongly feel US should refrain from unnecessary intervention North Africa but to tie our hands in advance with public statement seems unwise. Our declaration in UNGA was public recognition by United States of France’s primary responsibility in North Africa.

Apparent French attempts to link our political position Morocco to airbase agreements appears to us undesirable. Presumably Article XVI paragraph 1 of technical agreement number 1 between military forces specifying noninterference military personnel in political activity Morocco would enable French Government meet extremist criticism mentioned reference telegram if Department really believes this should be primary consideration in determination our Moroccan policy.

French still bitter our caution and moderation when Sultan’s position threatened in 1951 crisis and apparently construed our apprehensions concerning consequences Sultans removal as interference. Possibly French insistence noninterference statement this time is more than coincidental since protectorate authorities continue build up Glaouis prestige at expense of Sultan and consulate receiving persistent reports of petitions being circulated by pro-French elements demanding Sultan’s abdication.

  1. This telegram was repeated to Paris, Tangier, Cairo, Tunis, and Casablanca.
  2. Not printed; it reported an official of the Foreign Ministry had again raised the topic of a U.S. Non-interference statement covering French North Africa. According to the Embassy, the Foreign Ministry attached considerable importance to the statement. If the Department of State agreed to the idea in principle, the Embassy offered to work with the French to develop a mutually acceptable draft statement. (711.56371/5–953)
  3. For documentation on this topic, see pp. 189 ff.