The following extract from the Survey of International Affairs, 1925, Volume I (Royal Institute: of International Affairs), pp. 169-171, is circulated herewith.

“The Tangier question was reopened as early as September 1920; but it was not until the 29th June, 1923, that Great. Britain succeeded in bringing together in London a preliminary conference of British, French and Spanish experts to discuss whether the calling of a definitive conference of the three Powers was possible. The main conference duly met in Paris on the 27th October, and, after laborious negotiations, a Convention for the Port of Tangier was signed by experts on the 11 December1, and a Convention regarding the Organization of the Statute of the Tangier Zone2 by the diplomatists on the 18th December, 1923.

“Under the convention of the 18th December, which was to run for twelve years from the date of ratification, the Tangier Zone was to ‘be placed under a regime of permanent neutrality’.3 Under authority delegated by His Sharifian Majesty the Zone was to ‘possess the most extensive legislative and administrative powers’, and this h delegation of authority was to be ‘permanent and general’.4 As regards internal administration the native population and Muslim institutions were to be administered (Art. 25) ‘by a Moroccan staff appointed directly by the Sultan and under the control of his agents’ — that is, implicitly under the control of France as Protecting Power. The Sultan was to be represented by a Mandub, who was to administer the native population directly and preside over the International Legislative Assembly. This Assembly was to consist of twenty-six members, all nominated.5 Its enactments were to be subject to veto by a Committee of Control, composed of the consuls of the Powers which had signed the Algeciras Act, and the field of its legislative activity was restricted, for the first two years, by seventeen decrees and regulations dealing with the minutiae of municipal government (Art. 33), and in perpetuity by seven judicial codes, to be drawn up by the British, French and Spanish Governments within three months of the signature of the convention. A Mixed Court of French, British and Spanish magistrates was to administer justice, under these seven codes, to foreign nationals, and the Capitulations were to be abrogated. The decisions of the Assembly were to be carried out and the international administration directed by an Administrator, who for the first six years was to be a Frenchman with a Spanish and an English assistant-administrator and a French and a Spanish engineer (Art. 35).”


1Résumé in The Manchester Guardian, 14 December 1923.

2See the British White Paper Cmd. 2203 of 1924 for French and English texts of the convention itself and French texts of the following annexes: (1) Règlement de la Gendarmerie de la Zone de Tanger; (2) Projet de Dahir Chérifien organisant l’administration de la one de Tanger. (3) Projet de Dahir sur l’organisation d’une juridiction internationale à Tanger. The Police Regulation was an elaboration of Article 47 of the convention. The dahirs were a translation into the form of Sultanic decrees of those provisions of the convention which concerned the internal régime in the Tangier Zone and not the relations between the signatory Powers.

3With the important exception that the area might but crossed in transit by troops proceeding to or coming from the French or Spanish Zones.

4In diplomatic matters, however, the Sultan was still to be represented abroad by France in respect of Tangier, as one of his other dominions (in accordance with Art. 5 of the Franco-Moroccan Treaty of 30th March, 1912) and Morrocan subjects of the Tangier Zone were also to be protected abroad by the French authorities (Art. 6).

5Four French members, four Spanish, three British, two Italian, one American, one Belgian, one Dutch, one Portuguese —  to be nominated by their respective consulates — and six Muslim and three, Jewish subjects of the Sultan — to be nominated by the Mandub, the three Jews being chosen from a list of nine names submitted the Jewish Community.

6Which might be abrogated or modified only by agreement between the French and Spanish Zones in Morocco and the Committee of Control (Art. 32)

Document symbol: A/AC.25/Com.Jer/W.5
Document Type: Working document
Document Source: United Nations Conciliation Commission for Palestine (UNCCP)
Subject: Jerusalem, Legal issues, Palestine question
Publication Date: 05/03/1949