Page images

740.0011 European War 1939/8228: Telegram

The Ambassador in Spain (Weddell) to the Secretary of State

MADRID, February 9, 1941-11 a. m. [Received 4: 55 p. m.]

98. Department's 16, January 8, 6 p. m., my 78, January 19 [29] 6 p. m. The British Minister informed me last night that in a long interview with the Chief of State yesterday he discussed with him the general subject of Anglo-Spanish relations and left with Franco a memorandum of his Government's views on these relations.

The Ambassador also told me that having failed in his repeated efforts to obtain from the Minister for Foreign Affairs written confirmation of his verbal promises concerning capitulations at Tangier he intended to write him a letter setting forth his understanding of these engagements and assurances and would then let the matter rest there.

I told the Ambassador that in these circumstances I felt I should no longer delay making known to the Spanish Government the view of my Government on the Tangier situation something which I had deferred doing at his request. He expressed his thanks for this consideration adding that it would seem useless to wait further.

I am therefore seeking an early opportunity to carry out instructions contained in the Department's telegram under reference.


740.0011 European War 1939/8501: Telegram

The Ambassador in Spain (Weddell) to the Secretary of State

MADRID, February 19, 1941.

[Received February 19-10: 22 p. m.]

133. Department's 16, January 8, 6 p. m., and my 98, February 9, 11 a. m. This morning discussed with the Foreign Minister the situation at Tangier recalling to him my note of November 11, 1940,7 and emphasizing the various points brought out in the Department's telegram under acknowledgment. I also left with him an aidemémoire in the sense indicated.

The Minister made no comment at the moment beyond saying that he would give the memorandum attention. He also promised to send me a copy of the note recently addressed to the British Embassy concerning the fortification of Tangier, et cetera, as desired in the De

"For text, see Department's telegraphic instruction No. 297, November 9, 1940, 6 p. m., to the Ambassador in Spain, Foreign Relations, 1940, vol. III, p. 789. 409021-59-36

partment's 38, Jan. 25, 5 p. m. Translation of the text will be telegraphed when received.



The Chargé at Tangier (Childs) to the Secretary of State

No. 184

TANGIER, May 1, 1941. [Received May 28.]

SIR: I have the honor to refer to my despatch No. 164 of April 14, 1941 reporting the appointment of Lt.-Col. Don Luis Carvajal Arrieta as Interventor Regional de la Region de Tanger (District Commissioner of the Tangier Region).

Under date of April 15, 1941 I received from Colonel Carvajal an announcement of his appointment, in an unsigned third person communication, a copy and translation of which are enclosed.10 Similar communications were addressed to my consular colleagues. My Netherlands, Belgian and British colleagues took umbrage at the fact that they were addressed as Consuls, and replied to the District Commissioner in third person notes in which the Netherlands and Belgian Consuls General described themselves as Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary in charge of the Consulate General, while the British Consul General described himself as Counselor of Embassy and His Britannic Majesty's Consul General in charge of the Consulate General. In view of our special relations, I made no acknowledgment of the communication.

In a further communication, dated April 25, 1941, I received an invitation from Colonel Carvajal, along with my consular colleagues, addressed to me as "Excmo. Sr. Ministro de los Estados Unidos" (His Excellency, the American Minister) inviting me to attend the inauguration of the Municipal Library on April 27.

I took advantage of this last mentioned invitation to call on Colonel Carvajal on April 29, along with Mr. Shillock, Second Secretary of the Legation, to thank the District Commissioner personally and unofficially for his invitation. I stated to Colonel Carvajal, through Mr. Shillock who speaks fluent Spanish, that I had received his kind invitation too late in order to be present, but that even had I received it in

"Anglo-Spanish provisional agreement regarding Tangier was effected by an exchange of notes, dated February 21, 1941. English texts of the notes were transmitted to the Department by the Chargé at Tangier in his despatch No. 128, March 7, 1941, not printed.

"Not printed.

10 Not attached to file copy.

time, I would not have been able to take advantage of his kindness. I stated that, as Colonel Carvajal was doubtless aware, the United States had never recognized the Tangier Zone and that, for that reason, Mr. Blake, as Minister, had never had formal and official relations with the International officials of the Zone. That had not prevented, I observed, the maintenance by Mr. Blake of very pleasant unofficial relations with those officials.

I continued by stating that I could not, for similar reasons, have official relations with the District Commissioner, but that I saw no reason why we might not enjoy pleasant unofficial relations. Colonel Carvajal assured me very cordially that he was of the same opinion, and stated that I could count on his very favorable disposition.

Respectfully yours,


123 C 436/408: Telegram

The Ambassador in Spain (Weddell) to the Secretary of State

MADRID, June 13, 1941–7 p. m. [Received June 14-11:40 a. m.]

545. The British Ambassador told me today that his Consul General at Tangier had just informed him that in a conversation held by the Consul General with Orgaz, Spanish High Commissioner, the latter had expressed irritation at the failure of Childs to call on him and also remarked that with regard to the visit desired to be paid by Bentley, "Military Attaché at Tangier", he could not receive him in this capacity but only as an officer of the American Army.

The Ambassador added that he apologized for mentioning the matter since he did not consider it his affair but that inasmuch as Orgaz was favorably disposed [to] assist him it was their policy to placate him especially having in mind the provisional situation existing which subsequent events might be expected to alter.

I told the Ambassador that I was not sufficiently posted to have an opinion on the matter but that I felt that an officer of Childs' experience was without doubt acting in accordance with our policy and being careful to do nothing which could compromise our rights." Repeated to Tangier.


"In despatch No. 221, June 19, Mr. Childs explained at length his relations with Spanish officials at Tangier. He reported that informal relations had been satisfactorily developed. The principal difficulties had arisen with respect to absence of the American officials from ceremonial functions of the Spanish authorities. He stated that "these officials are now reasonably familiar with our position and it is believed that the hope may be reasonably entertained that they are not likely to misinterpret it in the future." (881.00/2023)


The Chargé at Tangier (Childs) to the Secretary of State No. 227

TANGIER, June 24, 1941. [Received July 12.]

SIR: I have the honor to report to the Department that as a result of energetic action by the Legation the extraterritorial position of American citizens in Tangier appears to have obtained fuller recognition by the Spanish authorities administering the city than they were disposed previously to accord.

The Department will recall that in the case of Mr. Winthrop Buckingham, an American citizen who on two occasions was arrested and detained (see the Legation's despatches Nos. 37 and 44 of September 24 and October 3, 1940 respectively 12), the Spanish authorities proceeded in a manner which gave indication that they did not entirely comprehend our extraterritorial treaty position with respect to the protection of American citizens within the jurisdiction of the Legation. In those instances the individual in question was placed under arrest and the Legation was only subsequently informed.13

In April, 1941 shortly after my arrival, an American citizen, Frank Ney Illischer, was illegally detained and transported to Tetuán by the Spanish police, as I informed the Department in my despatch no. 157 of April 11, 1941.14 This was the third violation of our extraterritorial jurisdiction in the relatively short period of Spanish occupation of Tangier, and I deemed it essential to endeavor to remove all doubt in the minds of the Spanish of our intention to uphold firmly our treaty rights. I therefore pressed this case with particular energy and transmitted a telegram direct to the Spanish High Commissioner at Tetuán explaining our position. This action was successful in obtaining Illischer's release.

The firm attitude assumed by the Legation has brought satisfactory results. In two subsequent cases of individuals alleged to have committed violations of local law, the Spanish Interventor, the head of civil administration in the Tangier Zone, has taken no action but has informed me in a personal note of the circumstances surrounding the case with the request that the Legation take any necessary steps to secure respect for the laws by the American involved. There is transmitted herewith a translation of a communication received from the Interventor concerning an alleged violation of a traffic regulation by Mr. Walter B. Boyce, an American, and a copy of the Legation's reply


Neither printed.

13 Mr. Buckingham was released after vigorous protests by the Diplomatic Agency.

14 Not printed.

thereto.15 The procedure thus established gives the Legation an opportunity to make an investigation of the case, admits the jurisdiction of the Legation over its citizens and secures them from illegal molestation by the Spanish authorities.

Respectfully yours,



The Chargé at Tangier (Childs) to the Secretary of State No. 236

TANGIER, July 1, 1941. [Received July 23.]

SIR: I have the honor to report that on June 30, 1941 I called on Colonel Manuel Granado Tamajon, commanding the Spanish troops in Tangier and left with him a memorandum,16 copies of which are enclosed, setting forth our treaty rights with respect to the restrictions imposed by the Spanish military authorities on my movements between Tangier and Cape Spartel.

Some months ago, following the Spanish occupation of Tangier, Spanish troops were posted in the vicinity of Cape Spartel and orders were issued to them to prevent the movement of foreigners over certain roads in that immediate neighborhood, including access to Cape Spartel. My British colleague informs me that soon after the restrictions were imposed he made them the subject of certain observations to Colonel Yuste at that time serving in the capacity both of Delegate of the Spanish High Commissioner as well as Commander of the Spanish forces in Tangier. This intervention having been without any result, the British Consul General took up the question with the newly arrived Spanish High Commissioner who is stated to have taken note of the former's observations. I am informed also that the question has been the subject of representations on the part of the British Embassy in Madrid with the Spanish Foreign Office, all so far without any positive result. The British action was based on the provision of the Anglo-Spanish Agreement of February 21, 1941 relating to Tangier assuring British subjects "freedom of movement in the Tangier Zone" (see Legation's despatch No. 128 of March 7, 1941).17

Shortly after my arrival in Tangier I requested my Spanish colleague to issue me a laissez-passer for the Spanish Zone and, on the strength of this document, I have never experienced until recently any difficulty in passing to and from Cape Spartel.

With the recent replacement of Colonel Yuste by Colonel Granado the Spanish troops stationed in the vicinity of Cape Spartel were replaced by Moorish troops and apparently were given stricter orders

[blocks in formation]
« PreviousContinue »