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Diplomatic And Consular Service—Foreign Representatives In Morocco—Question

Volume 217: debated on Tuesday 29 July 1873

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asked the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Whether his attention has been drawn to a statement made by Mr. Consul White, in his Report on the Trade of Morocco, that

"In Morocco the foreign representatives reside at a considerable distance from either of the capitals of the empire, and but seldom or never see the Sultan or any save one of his Ministers; and that, so long as the absence of personal intercourse between the representatives of Foreign Powers and the Sultan and his Court continues to exist, it is hopeless to expect useful reforms in the government, or any considerable extension of the trade or civilization of the country;"
whether Sir John Hay, our representative in Morocco, shares in and has repeatedly urged the same opinion upon Government; and, whether the Government can hold out any hope of their taking the matter into consideration, with a view of removing our Embassy to the capital, and securing personal communication between our representative and the Sultan?

Sir, Her Majesty's Government are not prepared to change the residence of the British Mission in Morocco, which, if recommended by Sir John Drummond Hay, would not, it is believed, be agreeable to the Moorish Court, and would entail increased expenditure. There are, besides, countervailing advantages in the residence of the British Minister being at a seaport. Her Majesty's Minister is enabled, under existing arrangements, to obtain private interviews with the Sultan, and reported lately that the results were satisfactory.