Courtesy Reuters

Morocco Plans for Independence

ON November 16, 1955, His Majesty Sultan Mohammed V returned to Rabat after two years of exile. A new era began for the Moroccan people. In order to bring about this memorable day they had fought a heroic fight and made sacrifices. Now their hopes were to come true.

France's recognition of Moroccan independence indeed marks a turning point in the history of Franco-Moroccan relations. In the Celle-Saint-Cloud declaration of November 6, 1955, the government of the French Republic pledged itself to help Morocco achieve the status of an independent state within the framework of a freely negotiated and defined relationship of interdependence.

The Moroccan people cherish the hope of exercising the attributes of effective sovereignty and of seeing a régime of liberty, equality and democracy established in their country. They expect to enjoy freedom of expression, thought, assembly and movement such as exists in independent sovereign nations. They aspire, in other words, to a respectable way of life. They think it will be assured by exploiting the country's riches efficiently and distributing them in a manner to raise the standard of living, absorb unemployment and guarantee quiet and well-being for all.

As the Franco-Moroccan negotiations begin, we hope, of course, that France may really play the card of independence without any reservation or bargaining. These negotiations should be characterized above all by frankness and sincerity. The French government must show no ambiguity in leading Morocco to true independence. It did not take long for the Moroccan people to realize that the so-called "protectorate" treaty was the prototype of a colonial treaty. Its fear now is that perhaps that colonial treaty may simply be replaced by another colonial treaty under another name. For this reason what is asked for in the name of interdependence must not make a mockery of independence. The ties of interdependence must originate in independence. Only a state which is sovereign and fully independent can enter usefully and validly into a relationship of interdependence.

We hope that France has renounced

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