Assessment of the Political Situation

The first conference of the National Party was highlighted by a speech by the leader Allal El Fassi at the opening session in which he proceeded to provide a detailed analysis of the political situation that evolved since the recent conference of the Assembly for National Action, the predecessor of the new party. Instead of getting better, the situation has gotten worse because of the material and morale crises the nation went through over the course of the past year. These were essentially due to the segregationist policy and brutality carried out by the Protectorate Administration. The protectorate power did not fulfill any of the commitments it had promised. The urgent demands remained a dead letter despite the pressing needs of the country in areas like social justice and welfare. The events that took place in Meknes which cost the lives of innocent citizens will forever be remembered. These resulted in a wave of repression, deportations, and imprisonment with the only crime committed was to have demonstrated in support of prisoners who had protested against the confiscation of water and diverting it to benefit of the colonist settler lands.

In this fashion, the countryside was severely impacted. All persons suspected of cooperating with the reform movement or having links with this movement were literally hounded. Hundreds were imprisoned and tortured, their lots vandalized and their belongings confiscated. The regulars of the eighth Spahi (French cavalry consisting of North African troops) swarmed on an area nearby Béni Yazgha and razed to the ground everything after committing the worst atrocities. They destroyed tents, helped themselves to available money and fowl, raped women and persecuted the innocents.

The colonial administration gave free reign to one named Albiaz then to El Glaoui and their acolytes to crush any resistance of the Marrakesh population. They filled prisons with those arrested for no reason. They drove others into exile, whipped some and enchained others. They invaded people's homes. They attacked theologians and legal experts. They sealed off the homes of craftsmen and nationalists after evicting them and damaging their household goods. They attacked the religious schools chasing away the students and their teachers. They showered scorn on the sacred book and the wooden writing boards that the pupils used to learn verses of the Koran and then closed these schools. They seized national newspapers and imposed fines and sanctions on anyone observed reading them.

Those French nationals in charge of the protectorate authorized a missionary pilgrimage to Khemmiset's Saint Theresa church in its capacity as the saint of evangelical missions. The Ait Ouribel students in the Zemmour province were to celebrate the last phase of their Koranic school year only under the condition that they abstain on this occasion from reading the Koran and to not proclaim any prayers in deference to His Majesty the Sultan in the same manner as they earlier had interdicted the Marrakesh population from celebrating the Mouloud holiday, the anniversary of the birth of the Prophet.

All this was proof that the Protectorate Administration continues to cling on to its Berber policy. Needless to say the national press has been totally muzzled with all its articles, before their release, subjected to controls, censure, seizure or even outright ban. Likewise one hardly has to recall that all the demands submitted to obtain authorization for the creation of an association of no matter what kind were met with refusal by the government with no valid justification. Add to this a smear campaign against the Assembly for National Action by a press totally committed to the colonial mindset and you would have a perfect picture of the circumstances that Moroccans lived through over the past year.

The National Pact

After this assessment of the political situation since the conference of October 1936, the floor was given to communiques sent out by the new party during the past year. Then a proposition called the National Pact was submitted to the attendees to vote on each of the following articles:

  • The conference delegatess denounce on behalf of the Moroccan people the cruel repression to which the cities of Meknes, Marrakesh and Beni Yazgha as well as the Moroccan farmlands were subjected to. The delegates energetically protest against these barbaric acts the like of which are hidden in the dark past of long ago. They demand the rights and return of the deported and a just compensation for the victims of repression for damages to their assets.

  • The delegates are outraged by the obstruction of the freedom of the press and have decided to fight all measures and attempts taken so far be it the delays in granting authorization to release, or the seizures or censure of the papers. They demand that the national press in Arabic enjoy the same rights and privileges as those foreign newspapers sold in Morocco.

  • They find the government's refusal to grant Moroccans the right to form associations of any kind dishonorable.

  • The delegates impute the responsibility of these policies on the reactionary thinking that permeates the protectorate that raised in the past the indignation of Morocco and the world of Islam with their Berber Policy.

  • The delegates are committed to fight all thes tyrannical acts with all legal and appropriate means giving full power to the leaders of the National Party to select the means and the proper times to confront these acts.

  • They denounce the false accusations and fake maneuvers fomented by the reactionary elements and by the colonial press against our movement. They declare that the latter has no ties with any foreign entity and that the responsibility lies entirely within the decisions made at the leadership of the National Party.

  • They have decided that any cooperation with the government will depend on its renunciation of its policy of stifling liberties and repression and on its enactment of a plan to address the urgent demands. They believe His Majesty the Sultan's concerns as well as those of free Frenchmen for the Moroccan people are assets for achieving our goals.

  • The delegates are committed before God to execute the directives of this National Pact and declare themselves ready for the sacrifices needed to this end.

Abderraouf Hajji