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with me copies of the reply which I proposed to make to the Spanish communication. Those present agreed to make a substantially similar protest individually and at the same time agreement was reached on the French text of a reply to be made by the President of the Commission. The following is a translation of this text dated today:
I have the honor to acknowledge receipt of your letter of July 2, 1941, and I have not failed to convoke immediately the members of the International Cape Spartel Lighthouse Commission.
There have participated the representatives of Belgium, United States, France, Great Britain, Netherlands, Portugal and Sweden which unanimously have taken note of your communication and have decided to refer it to their respective Governments.
Moreover they have charged me to address you their protests against the unilateral decision taken by the Spanish authorities in violation of engagements resulting from treaties and to express the most formal reserves concerning the rights and responsibilities of the governments which they represent and of the Commission itself.
Please accept, Mr. Administrator, the assurance of my high consideration. Signed the Minister Plenipotentiary in charge of the Portuguese Consulate General, President of the International Cape Spartel Lighthouse Commission.”
881.822/201 : Telegram
The Chargé at Tangier (Childs) to the Secretary of State
TANGIER, July 3, 1941–4 p. m.
[Received July 411:55 p. m.] 240. My 239.51 In addition to agreeing upon the text of the note quoted in my 239 the Cape Spartel Commission unanimously agreed on the following pending instruction which may be received by the members of the Commission:
1. Archives to be retained by the Commission and delivery to the Spanish authorities refused in case a request for them is made.
2. Inventory to be made of all materials belonging to the Commission now on hand at the lighthouse.
3. No payments to be made from the funds belonging to the Commission except those for which engagements have been made prior to June 4 midnight. Another meeting of Commission will be held as soon as the members have received relevant instructions from their governments.
As the Department realizes, the Cape Spartel Lighthouse is the most important lighthouse within the vicinity of the Straits of Gibraltar and its proper functioning is highly important and often essential to the safe navigation of these Straits. The members of Commission present this morning in informal discussions among themselves felt very strongly that the high-handed decision of the Spanish authorities was taken most probably under pressure of the German Government, which may wish to install its own personnel or one subject to its control at the lighthouse in order to interfere with Allied shipping and to provide a means of communication with Axis shipping Repeated to Madrid.
The Chargé at Tangier (Childs) to the Secretary of State
TANGIER, July 10, 1941–11 a. m.
[Received July 10–11 a. m.] 250. My telegram No. 237, July 3. Cape Spartel Lighthouse has been taken over by the Spanish authorities in accordance with the notification given.
The British Foreign Office has expressed the view to my British colleague that the failure of the Spanish Government to consult with the British Government prior to taking action with reference to Cape Spartel Lighthouse is considered to be a violation of the verbal assurances given to the Foreign Minister incident to the AngloSpanish Agreement of February 21, 1941,52 that no change would be made in Tangier without such prior consultation.
It is understood that the Foreign Office has instructed the Embassy at Washington to consult with the Department concerning the action to be taken in the light of the Spanish action. Repeated to Madrid.
881.822/199 : Telegram
The Acting Secretary of State to the Chargé at Tangier (Childs)
WASHINGTON, July 12, 1941–7 p.m. 85. Your 238, July 3, noon. Your action approved. A note is being telegraphed to the Embassy at Madrid for presentation to the Spanish Government the text of which the Embassy will repeat to you.
62 Effected by exchange of notes ; English texts of notes were transmitted to the Department by the Chargé at Tangier in his despatch No. 128, March 7, 1941, not printed.
881.822/203: Telegram The Acting Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Spain (Weddell)
WASHINGTON, July 12, 1941–8 p.m. 357. Reference telegrams dated July 3 from Legation at Tangier concerning Spanish action in regard to Cape Spartel Lighthouse. You should seek an immediate appointment with the Foreign Minister and, unless you perceive some compelling objection, deliver to him the following note:
“My Government has learned with surprise that the Spanish High Commissioner in Morocco, presumably acting under instructions of the Spanish Government, has issued orders for taking over the direction and administration of the lighthouse at Cape Spartel as of July 5, 1941, and for maintenance of the lighthouse thereafter by the technical services of the Spanish Zone in Morocco. The action in question, taken on a scant 3 days notice, dismissed in a most summary manner the fact that the lighthouse is actually administered by an International Commission under the terms of the Cape Spartel Lighthouse Convention of May 31, 1865, to which the Government of the United States, as well as the Spanish Government, is a party.
My Government declines to admit the right of the Spanish Government unilaterally to terminate an international agreement, in accordance with the provisions of which the Spanish Government specifically engaged itself to cooperate with the representatives of other nations in the care and management of a service designed to protect an important world shipping route. The abrupt decision of the Spanish authorities, by which they have taken upon themselves the sole responsibility for terminating this international engagement of long standing, was made without prior consultation with those governments whose rights are affected and without regard for the terms and conditions of an existing treaty.
The Government of the United States is informed that the President of the International Commission has already protested the action of the Spanish High Commissioner in Morocco and has expressed the most formal reservation of the rights and responsibilities of the governments represented on the Commission and of the Commission itself. The American Chargé d'Affaires at Tangier has likewise delivered a strong written protest to the Spanish District Commissioner in that city. I am now instructed by my Government to associate myself with those protests and to urge upon the Spanish Government the importance and desirability, in the interest of international relations, of the prompt annulment of the order of the Spanish High Commissioner and the resumption of administration of the Cape Spartel Lighthouse by the International Commission exclusively authorized to perform that function under a valid subsisting international agreement which the United States and Spain and all other signatories have a clear obligation to respect.” Please repeat to Tangier.
881.822/205 : Telegram
The Ambassador in Spain (Weddetl) to the Secretary of State
MADRID, July 21, 1941–10 p. m.
[Received July 22—2:11 p. m.] 666. Department's telegram No. 357, July 12, 8 p. m. Note dated July 15th delivered personally to Foreign Minister today. Repeated to Tangier.
[No reply to the above-mentioned note has been found in the Department's files, and apparently a settlement of the issue was left in abeyance.]
CONSENT BY THE UNITED STATES, WITH RESERVATIONS, TO THE APPLICATION OF CERTAIN DECREES IN THE FRENCH ZONE OF MOROCCO TO AMERICAN NATIONALS AND PROTÉGÉS 53
The Chargé at Tangier (Childs) to the Secretary of State No. 364
TANGIER, September 30, 1941.
[Received October 22.] SIR: I have the honor to inform the Department that by note of June 25, 1941 the French Resident General has made formal application for the Department's assent to the application to American ressortissants in the French Zone of Morocco of dahirs and vizirial decrees concerning an income tax, and the "patente” tax (license tax on trades and professions) and a supplement of the "patente” tax.
The delay in transmitting the translation and analyses of these decrees is due to pressure of work in respect of more urgent matters.
The following are the taxation measures above referred to: Income tax
Vizirial decree of December 7, 1940 modifying a similar decree of December 19, 1939 concerning the application of the dahir of October 30, 1939 which instituted an exceptional and temporary levy upon public and private salaries, pensions, annuities, etc. (Enclosure no. 1); 51
Dahir of May 20, 1941 modifying the dahir of October 30, 1939 concerning the levy on salaries, etc. (Enclosure no. 2).
Continued from Foreign Relations, 1940, vol. III, pp. 823–829.
Supplement to the "patente” tax
Dahir of April 12, 1941 instituting a supplement to the “patente” tax. (Enclosure no. 3);
Decree of the Director of Finance dated April 15, 1941 concerning the application of the last mentioned dahir. (Enclosure no. 4);
Decree of the Director of Finance dated April 15, 1941 fixing the percentage coefficients to be applied to business turnovers for the purpose of assessing the supplement to the "patente" tax. (Enclosure no. 5). “Patente" tax
Dahir of December 19, 1940 modifying and completing the dahir of October 9, 1920 which created a “patente” tax (license tax on trades and professions). (Enclosure no. 6).
A brief analysis of the dahirs and vizirial decrees above mentioned is given below and reservations, as their provisions may seem to require, are suggested in regard to each decree. Income tax
Enclosure no. 1 consists of a vizirial decree of December 7, 1940 which modifies a similar decree of December 19, 1939 concerning the enforcement of a dahir of October 30, 1939 which created a levy on public and private salaries, pensions and annuities. The modifications involve minor amendments of the original text. The only clause of any note is Article 2 which adds two articles to the original decree, namely, Article 8 bis and 8 ter, under which commercial representatives or sales agents who are exempted from the payment of the "patente" tax are made liable for the payment of the income tax on emoluments derived from their operations in French Morocco.
Enclosure no. 2 comprises a dahir of May 20, 1941 exempting from taxation allowances and other indemnities granted in respect of family burdens.
In the case of neither of the above decrees do the modifications which they contain affect the substance of the law in such a manner as to require reservations other than those set forth in the Department's instruction no. 12 of November 1, 1940 (file no. 881.512/151) 55 which assented to the original legislation. The Legation is therefore of the opinion that the Department's assent may be given to the dahir of May 20, 1941 and to the vizirial decree of December 7, 1940 under the same conditions, namely, that in as much as the taxation is exceptional and temporary, the American Government's assent thereto is temporary in character and subject to withdrawal.
It may be stated here that in its note of November 25, 1940 which, in pursuance of instruction no. 12 above mentioned, notified the Resi
See Foreign Relations, 1940, vol. III, p. 828, footnote 79.