Convention as to Protection in Morocco Between the United States, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Spain, France, Great Britain, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Sweden and Norway and Morocco
Signed at Madrid, July 3 ,1880.
His excellency the President of the United States of America; his majesty the Emperor
of Germany, King of Prussia; his majesty the Emperor of Austria, King of Hungary; his
majesty the King of the Belgians; his majesty the King of Denmark; his majesty the King of
Spain; his excellency the President of the French Republic; her majesty the Queen of the
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland; his majesty the King of Italy; his majesty
the Sultan of Morocco; his majesty the King of the Netherlands; his majesty the King of
Portugal and the Algarves; his majesty the King of Sweden and Norway; Having recognized
the necessity of establishing on fixed and uniform bases, the exercise of the right of
protection in Morocco, and of settling certain questions connected therewith, have
appointed as their plenipotentiaries at the conference assembled for that purpose at
Madrid, to wit:
His excellency the President of the United States of America, General Lucius Fairchild,
envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary of the United States near his Catholic
majesty; His majesty the Emporer [sic] of Germany, King of Prussia, Count Eberhardt de
Solms-Sonnewalde, knight commander of the first class of his Order of the Red Eagle with
oak leaves, knight of the Iron Cross, etc., etc., his envoy extraordinary and minister
plenipotentiary near his Catholic majesty; His majesty the Emperor of Austria, King of
Hungary, Count Emanuel Ludolf, his privy councillor in actual service, grand cross the
Imperial Order of Leopold, knight of the first class of the Order of the Iron Crown, etc.,
etc., his envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary near his Catholic majesty; His
majesty the King of the Belgians, Mr. Edward Anspach, officer of his Order of Leopold,
etc., etc., his envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary near his Catholic
majesty; His majesty the King of Spain, Don Antonio Canovas del Castillo, knight of the
distinguished Order of the Golden Fleece, etc., etc., president of his Council of
Ministers; His excellency the President of the French Republic, Vice-Admiral JaurŠs,
Senator, knight commander of the Legion of Honor, etc., etc., ambassador of the French
Republic near his Catholic majesty; Her majesty the Queen of the United Kingdom of Great
Britain and Ireland, the Honorable Lionel Sackville West, her envoy extraordinary and
minister plenipotentiary near his Catholic majesty who is likewise authorized to represent
his majesty the King of Denmark; His majesty the King of Italy, Count Joseph Greppi, grand
officer of the Order of Saint Maurice and Saint Lazarus, of that of the Crown of Italy,
etc., etc., his envoy extraordinary and minister plenipitentiary [sic] near his Catholic
majesty; His majesty the Sultan of Morocco, the Taleb Sid Mohammed Vargas, his minister of
foreign affairs and ambassador extraordinary; His majesty the King of the Netherlands,
Jonkheer Maurice de Heldewier, commander of the Royal Order of the Lion of the
Netherlands, knight of the Order of the Oaken Crown of Luxemburg, etc., his minister
resident near his Catholic majesty; His majesty the King of Portugal and the Algarves,
Count de Casal Ribeiro, peer of the realm grand cross of the Order of Christ, etc., etc.,
his envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary near his Catholic majesty; His
majesty the King of Sweden and Norway, Mr. Henry Akerman knight commander of the first
class of the Order of Wasa, etc., etc., his minister resident near his Catholic majesty;
Who, in virtue of their full powers, recognized as being in good and due form, have agreed
upon the following articles:
ARTICLE I. The conditions under which protection may be conceded are those established
in the British and Spanish treaties with the Government of Morocco, and in the convention
made between that government, France and other Powers in 1863, with the modifications
introduced by the present convention.
ARTICLE II. Foreign representatives at the head of a legation may select their
interpreters and employees from among the subjects of Morocco or others. These protected
persons shall be subject to no duty, impost or tax whatever, other than those stipulated
in Articles 1 and 13.
ARTICLE III. Consuls, vice consuls or consular agents having charge of a post, and
residing within the territory of the Sultan of Morocco, shall be allowed to select but one
interpreter, one soldier and two servants from among the subjects of the Sultan, unless
they may require a native secretary. These protected persons shall, in like manner, be
subject to no duty, impost or tax whatever, other than those stipulated in Articles 12 and
ARTICLE IV. If a representative shall appoint a subject of the Sultan to the office of
consular agent in a town on the coast, such agent shall be respected and honored, as shall
the members of his family occupying the same dwelling with him, and they, like him shall
be subject to no duty, impost or tax whatever, other than those stipulated in Articles 12
and 13; but he shall not have the right to protect any subjects of the Sultan other than
the members of his own family. He may, however, for the exercise of his functions, have a
protected soldier. Officers in active charge of vice consulates being subjects of the
Sultan shall, during the exercise of their functions, enjoy the same rights as consular
agents who are subjects of the Sultan.
ARTICLE V. The Government of Morocco recognizes the right of ministers, charg‚s
d'affaires and other representatives, which is granted to them by treaties, to select the
persons whom they employ, either in their own service or that of their governments, unless
such persons shall be sheiks or other employees of the Government of Morocco, such as
soldiers of the line or of the cavalry, in addition to the Maghaznias in command of their
guard. In like manner they shall not be permitted to employ any subject of Morocco who is
under prosecution. It is understood that civil suits commenced before protection, shall be
terminated before the courts which have instituted such proceedings. The execution of the
sentence shall suffer no hindrance. Nevertheless, the local authorities of Morocco shall
take care to communicate, without delay, the sentence pronounced, to the legation,
consulate or consular agency upon which the protected person is dependent. As to those
persons formerly protected, who may have a suit which was commenced before protection was
withdrawn from them, their case shall he tried by the court before which it was originally
brought. The right of protection shall not be exercised towards persons under a
prosecution for an offense or crime, before they have been tried by the authorities of the
country, or before their sentence, if any has been pronounced, has been executed.
ARTICLE VI. Protection shall extend to the family of the person protected. His dwelling
shall be respected. It is understood that the family is to consist only of the wife, the
children and the minor relatives dwelling under the same roof. Protection shall not be
hereditary. A single exception, which was established by the convention of 1863, but which
is not to create a precedent, shall be maintained in favor of the Benchimol family.
Nevertheless, if the Sultan of Morocco shall grant another exception each of the
contracting Powers shall be entitled to claim a similar concession.
ARTICLE VII Foreign representatives shall inform the Sultan's minister of foreign
affairs, in writing, of any selections of an employee made by them. They shall furnish
annually to the said minister a list of the names of the persons protected by them or by
their agents throughout the states of the Sultan of Morocco. This list shall be
transmitted to the local authorities, who shall consider as persons enjoying protection
only those whose names are contained therein.
ARTICLE VIII. Consular officers shall transmit each year to the authorities of the
district in which they reside a list, bearing their seal, of the persons protected by
them. These authorities shall transmit it to the minister of foreign affairs, to the end
that, if it be not conformable to the regulations, the representatives at Tangier may be
informed of the fact. A consular officer shall be required to give immediate information
of any changes that may have taken place among the persons protected by his consulate.
ARTICLE IX. Servants, farmers and other native employees of native secretaries and
interpreters shall not enjoy protection. The same shall be the case with Moorish employees
or servants of foreign subjects. Nevertheless, the local authorities shall not arrest an
employee or servant of a native officer in the service of a legation or consulate, or of a
foreign subject or protected person, without having notified the authority upon which he
is dependent. If a subject or Morocco in the service of a foreign subject shall kill or
wound any person, or violate his domicile, he shall be arrested immediately, but the
diplomatic or consular authority under which he is shall be notified without delay.
ARTICLE X. Nothing is changed with regard to the situation of brokers, as established
by the treaties and by the convention of 1863, except what is stipulated, relative to
taxes, in the following articles.
ARTICLE XI. The right to hold property is recognized in Morocco as belonging to all
foreigners. The purchase of property must take place with the previous consent of the
government, and the title of such property shall be subject to the forms prescribed by the
laws of the country. Any question that may arise concerning this right shall be decided
according to the same laws, with the privilege of appeal to the minister of foreign
affairs stipulated in the treaties.
ARTICLE XII. Foreigners and protected persons who are the owners or tenants of
cultivated land, as well as brokers engaged in agriculture, shall pay the agricultural
tax. They shall send to their consul annually, an exact statement of what they possess
delivering into his hands the amount of the tax. He who shall make a false statement,
shall be fined double the amount of the tax that he would regularly have been obliged to
pay for the property not declared. In case of repeated offense this fine shall be doubled.
The nature, method, date and apportionment of this tax shall form the subject of a special
regulation between the representatives of the Powers and the minister of foreign affairs
of his Shereefian majesty.
ARTICLE XIII. Foreigners, protected persons and brokers owning beasts of burden shall
pay what is called the gate-tax. The apportionment and the manner of collecting this tax
which is paid alike by foreigners and natives, shall likewise form the subject of a
special regulation between the representatives of the Powers and the minister of foreign
affairs of his Shereefian majesty. The said tax shall not he increased without a new
agreement with the representatives of the Powers.
ARTICLE XIV. The mediation of interpreters, native secretaries or soldiers of the
different legations or consulates, when persons who are not under protection of the
legation or consulate are concerned shall be admitted only when they are the bearers of a
document signed by the head of a mission or by the consular authority.
ARTICLE XV. Any subject of Morocco who has been naturalized in a foreign country, and
who shall return to Morocco, shall after having remained for a length of time equal to
that which shall have been regularly necessary for him to obtain such naturalization,
choose between entire submission to the laws of the Empire and the obligation to quit
Morocco, unless it shall be proved that his naturalization in a foreign country was
obtained with the consent of the government of Morocco. Foreign naturalization heretofore
acquired by subjects of Morocco according to the rules established by the laws of each
country, shall be continued to them as regards all its effects, without any restriction.
ARTICLE XVI. No irregular or unofficial protection shall be granted in future. The
authorities of Morocco will recognize no protection, of any kind whatever, save such as is
expressly provided for in this convention. Nevertheless, the exercise by the customary
right of protection shall be reserved for those cases only in which it may be desired to
reward signal services rendered by a native of Morocco to a foreign Power, or for other
altogether exceptional reasons. The minister of foreign affairs at Tangier shall be
previously informed of the nature of the services, and notified of the intention to reward
them, in order that he may, if need be, present his observations thereon; yet the final
decision shall be reserved for the government to which the service shall have been
rendered. The number of persons thus protected shall not exceed twelve for each Power, and
this number is fixed as the maximum unless the consent of the Sultan shall be obtained.
The status of persons who have obtained protection in virtue of the custom which is
henceforth to be regulated by this stipulation shall be without limitation of the number
of persons belonging to this class and now so protected, the same for themselves and their
families as that which is established for other protected persons.
ARTICLE XVII. The right to the treatment of the most favored nation is recognized by
Morocco as belonging to all the Powers represented at the Madrid conference.
ARTICLE XVIII. The convention shall be ratified. The ratifications shall be exchanged
at Tangier with as little delay as possible. By exceptional consent of the high
contracting parties the stipulations of this convention shall take effect on the day on
which it is signed at Madrid. In faith whereof the respective plenipotentiaries have
signed this convention, and have thereunto affixed the seals of their arms.
Done at Madrid, in thirteen originals, this third day of July, one thousand eight
hundred and eighty.
[SEAL.] LUCIUS FAIRCHILD. [SEAL.] E. DE SOLMS. [SEAL.] E. LUDOLF. [SEAL.] ANSPACH.
[SEAL.] A. C NOVAS DEL CASTILLO. [SEAL.] JAUR S. [SEAL.] L. S. SACKVILLE WEST. [SEAL ] J.
GREPPI. [SEAL.] MOHAMMED VARGAS. (In Arabic characters.) [SEAL.] HELDEWIER. [SEAL.] CASAL
RIBIERO. [SEAL.] AKERMAN
Regulations relative to protection adopted by common consent by the Legation of France
and the Government of Morocco, August 19,1863, referred to in Article 10.
Protection is individual and temporary. It consequently does not in general apply to
the relatives of the person protected. It may apply to his family, that is to say, to his
wife and children living under the same roof. It lasts at the longest for a person's
lifetime and is never hereditary, with the single exception of the Benchimol family, which
has furnished for several generations and still furnishes persons who act in the capacity
of brokers and interpreters for the post at Tangier. Protected persons are divided into
two classes. The first class comprises natives employed by the Legation and by the various
French consular officers. The second class consists of native factors, brokers, or agents,
employed by French Merchants for their business affairs. It is proper here to refer to the
fact that the term merchant is only applied to a person carrying on the import or export
trade on a large scale, either in his own name or as the agent of others. The number of
native brokers enjoying French protection is limited to two for each commercial house. By
way of exception commercial firms having establishments in different ports may have two
brokers attached to each of these establishments, who may as such enjoy French protection.
French protection is not extended to natives employed by French citizens in agricultural
occupations. Nevertheless, in consideration of the existing state of things, and by
agreement with the authorities of Morocco, the benefit of the protection which has
hitherto been granted to the persons referred to in the foregoing paragraph shall be
extended to the said persons for two months from the first of September next. It is
moreover, understood that agricultural laborers, herdsmen, or other native peasants, in
the service of French citizens shall not be legally prosecuted without immediate
information thereof being communicated to the competent consular officer, in order that
the latter may protect the interests of his countrymen. The list of all protected persons
shall be delivered by the proper consulate to the competent magistrate of the place, who
shall likewise be informed of any changes that may subsequently be made in the said list.
Each protected person shall be furnished with a card in French and in Arabic, mentioning
his name and stating the services which secure this privilege to him. All these cards
shall be issued by the legation of France at Tangier.
TANGIER, Aug. 19, 1863.
TEXT FROM Supplement to American Journal of International Law, 6, 1912, 18-26
Also in US Compilation of Treaties in Force, 1904, p. 561.
Contributed by C. R. Pennell, University of Melbourne, firstname.lastname@example.org