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Review and Prospects

The Assembly for National Action held its opening session of its first conference in Rabat on October 25, 1936. Ninety delegates took part in this event representing the cities of Rabat, Salé, Kenitra, Fez, Meknes, Taza, Oujda, Marrakesh, Safi, El Jadida (formerly Mazagan) and Casablanca.

At 9:00 PM the leader, Allal El Fassi, was the opening speaker of the conference. In the annual report that he represented, he listed the activities taken and the results obtained during the course of the last six years. His speech ended on a positive note, having faith that the French government led by the Popular Front and represented by General Noguès in his capacity as the Resident General of the Republic of France in Morocco will implement the reforms submitted by the Assembly in the Moroccan people's List of Demands Document.

After this opening speech, Mohammed El Yazidi, read a statement specifying the policy that the Assembly for National Action intends to follow in order to achieve the demands that were presented in 1934 to His Majesty the Sultan, to the government of the Republic of France and to its Resident General in Rabat. The delegates representing the different cities then succeeded each other to the platform.

Said Hajji took the floor on behalf of the Salé branch of the Assembly for National Action. He shared by proxy the support of his colleagues to the actions taken by the Assembly since its creation and relayed a number of observations that would reinforce the solidarity within the organization and give further credence to the demands for reform that the country expected to be enacted. The leader, Allal El Fassi, in response to suggestions offered by various delegates took the floor to confirm that these suggestions were all in line with party's policy and that they all possible measures would be taken to give them consideration.

The conference then reviewed a summarized version of the demands so as to prioritize for a first phase those that were most urgent. The discussions that followed allowed a majority of the delegates to justify the priority of those demands they felt needed immediate action thus demonstrating the interest they held on issues of national concern. After debates that stretched for more than four hours, the conference attendees adopted a motion to approve the final text of the Urgent Demands as well as the wording of telegrams that would be sent to His Majesty the Sultan, to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Government of the Republic of France and to the Resident General of France in Morocco.

The Urgent Demands

  • Civil Liberties

    Recognition for the freedoms of the press, of association, of circulation, of unions, of education, of assembly and for the right to petition.

    General amnesty for all who were deported, exiled or detained for political reasons since the establishment of the protectorate.

  • Education

    A unified educational program across all Moroccan territories.

    Increasing the number of primary schools.

    Development of secondary education.

    Organizing scholastic missions to France and to the Middle East and the granting of scholarships and unsecured loans to develop higher learning.

    Creation of teacher training schools

    A rigorous reorganization of the instruction at the University of Karaouiyine.

    Opening of schools specializing in the teaching of agriculture.

  • Justice

    Recruiting judges and their staff by means of competitive merit and ensuring their payment as part of the State budget and not through the means of litigants and citizens.

    Separation of powers between the executive and judicial administrations and the independence of the magistrates with respect to the power of administrative authority.

    Instituting a uniform judicial system across Moroccan cities and its countryside.

    Creation of a judicial and disciplinary administration for Moroccan magistrates.

    Abolition of the policy of using "Great Caids"

  • Agriculture

    Abolition of "official colonialism" and abrogation of texts and circulars equating land expropriation for creating areas for settlers with expropriation for public use.

    Creation of a unasailable family welfare using collectives and state properties.

    Extending agricultural credit to Moroccan peasants.

    Establishing absolute equality between peasants and settlers with regards to all obligations incumbent of both parties as well with respect the rights that should be equally recognized by law.

    Suppression of usury abuses and protection of peasants against extortion by the settlers, by agents of the authority or by tax collectors.

  • Workers and Craftsman

    Application of the social laws in France to Moroccan workers.

    Renovation of craftmanship and protecting handicrafts against foreign dumping.

    Return public transit regulations to those prior to 1932.

    Assistance to the unemployed Moroccans

  • Taxes

    Tax relief and equal fiscal policies for Moroccans and French

    Abolition of 'entry fees', 'market fees' and 'pasturing in the forest fees'

  • Public Health

    Increasing the number of health facilities and enlarging the free distribution of medicines to the needy

    Constant and focused battle against slums and substandard dwellings in the cities and in the countryside.

    Fight against alcoholism, drugs and public or hidden prostitution.

    Construction of safe havens in sufficient quantities for the elderly and the destitute and granting subsides to organizations that provide social assistance services to the Moroccan public.