Future of France in North Africa

September 15, 1955

Report Outline
Changing Order in French North Africa
Northwest Africa Under Rule of France
Nationalist Movement in North Africa

Changing Order in French North Africa

A pproval by the French cabinet, Sept. 12, of a compromise plan for governmental reforms in Morocco ended a tense month of negotiations between the Paris government of Premier Edgar Faure and representatives of French and native interests in the North African protectorate. The negotiations were punctuated, over the week-end of Aug. 20–21, by a savage wave of native outbreaks and French reprisals that extended from Casablanca on the Atlantic coast of Morocco to Constantine near the Mediterranean coast of the neighboring French territory of Algeria. The disorders, which cost the lives of more than 1,000 persons, brought to a head a major political crisis directly involving the future of France in the whole North African littoral and indirectly affecting other countries, including the United States, that are concerned with developments in that area.

Uncertain Outlook for Last-Minute Reforms

Whether the measures agreed to in Paris will end the crisis, or merely mark a breathing- spell In restive French North Africa, remains for time to determine. The hope is that the reforms will permit continuing negotiations to establish a representative Moroccan government with a degree of home rule. But the outlook for a lasting political settlement remains uncertain, not only in Morocco but also in Algeria, where native resistance to French rule may prove to be an even more difficult problem in the long run. The manner in which France conducts its dealings with the two territories, moreover, is certain to have an important bearing on future relations with the protectorate of Tunisia, third of the French North African territories, where limited home rule has brought a lessening of tensions.

The plan for Morocco, in broad outline, calls for vacating of the Moroccan throne by the sultan placed there two years ago by the French, when they ejected his nationalist-minded predecessor; creation of a regency council to guard the throne for the time being; and formation of a widely representative native government with which France will negotiate the terms of a settlement providing greater internal autonomy for the protectorate. As a corollary, the exiled sultan, who has been detained in Madagascar, is to be allowed to move to France though not, at least for the present, to return to Morocco.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
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Nov. 24, 1965  Election of De Gaulle: Past and Future Policies
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Sep. 15, 1955  Future of France in North Africa
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Apr. 27, 1928  The Briand-Kellogg Correspondence
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Aug. 24, 1926  French Currency and Exchange
Jun. 30, 1925  The Moroccan Problem
Jun. 17, 1925  The French Debt to the United States
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May 07, 1924  The French National Elections
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Conflicts in Africa
Imperialism, Colonization, and Independence Movements
Regional Political Affairs: Africa
War and Conflict