A diplomatic report on the First Moroccan Crisis (1905)


In 1905 a German official submitted the following report on Kaiser Wilhelm’s state visit to Morocco, an event that precipitated the First Moroccan Crisis:

After overcoming the difficult technical task of landing in Tangier, there was a very fitting reception on the dock by Moroccan officials and German settlers. Then a ride through the gaily decorated streets amid the indescribable joy of the natives and the European population; it was a magnificent oriental pageant in fine weather. In the Embassy there was a reception of Germans, the diplomatic corps, and the Sultan’s envoy, who, because of his great age and a rough sea, had not been able to come aboard ship.

[In his remarks] the Kaiser conveyed his respects and hopes for free trade [between Morocco and Germany] and complete equality of rights with other countries. When Count Cherisey [the French governor in Morocco] was about to acknowledge these remarks courteously, the Kaiser said that he would like to deal directly with the Sultan, the free ruler of an independent country, as an equal; that he himself would be able to make his just claims valid, and that he expected that these claims would also be recognised by France. Count Cherisey became pale. He was about to respond, but was curtly dismissed. He withdrew, downcast.

On the whole the brief visit of His Majesty came off splendidly without any unfortunate event and apparently made a great impression upon both Moors [native Moroccans] and foreigners.