Theodore Roosevelt and His Time Shown in His Own Letters - Vol. 1

By Joseph Bucklin Bishop | Go to book overview

until the Conference met at Algeciras. Soon after the Conference opened I began to have a succession of visits from Speck and from Jusserand. Jusserand generally gave me his messages verbally. Speck submitted them in writing. Loyal though Speck was to his Government, both Root and I became convinced that down in his heart the honest, brave little gentleman did not really believe Germany was acting as she should act. The attitude of France, as represented by the French representatives at Algeciras, seemed to be more reasonable; but I was entirely sure of France only when I could act directly through Jusserand, who rang true under any and all circumstances. . . .

Germany sought to impress us with the fact that all the other Powers but England were in her favor. We heard, however, both from Russia and Italy that they thought the German position was wrong, and were anxious that we should do something to prevent Germany from obtaining a sphere of influence in Morocco. We became convinced that Austria was a mere cat's-paw for Germany, and that Germany was aiming in effect at the partition of Morocco, which was the very reverse of what she was claiming to desire. She first endeavored to secure a port for herself, and then a separate port, nominally for Holland or Switzerland, which we were convinced would, with the adjacent Hinterland, become in effect German. The French said they would not yield on these points, and, as you know, it looked as if the Conference would come to nothing, and that there would then be the possibility of trouble between France and Germany. Our view was that the interests of France and Spain in Morocco were far greater than those of other powers. Finally we took the matter up by correspondence with Germany, as follows, Jusserand being kept informed of what we were doing:

No. 333.

DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
WASHINGTON, February 19, 1906.

Excellency:

The President has been keeping in mind the suggestion

-489-

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