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Memorandum established by the Committee of the National Action in relation with the economic crisis due to the drought of the mid thirties.

The economic crisis is devastating Morocco in an alarming way. The annual Moroccan imports exceed exports of a billion francs. Everyone suffers from the disorganization of the country's economy as a whole, which implies the duty of the government to adopt an economic policy in the interest of all by drawing its inspiration from the spirit of the economic and financial reforms suggested in "the Plan of the Moroccan Reforms" that is based on the most modern scientific principles in conformity with the interests of Morocco always exposed to the atmospheric disturbances which command its agricultural production.

This policy must stick mainly to equip the country with means of irrigation by creating barrages to store the water in order to supply the needs of the fellah which are as urgent to satisfy as the needs of the colonists who already benefit from the barrages which were build so far. It is established that Morocco is before and above all an agricultural country. Its agrarian production constitutes its richness on which its material life depends. If it is diseased, its economic life will suffer and the whole population will fear the worst. That is, unfortunately what happened in this difficult period of time since the harvest underwent a disaster because of the lack of rain in the appropriate time.

The life bacame excessively hard for the poor and the middle classes; the money does not circulate, provoking the rise of the prices, which let plane on the population the threat of famine susceptible of disturbing the public order and increasing the criminality of which we already see its symptoms appearing in certain places. The people is quite aware of the gravity of this situation which threatens its existence and is prey to apprehensions mixed with fears. In front of such a distressful situation, they addressed their prayers to Allah, imploring mercy and asking for the rain so that it will be made an end to its misfortunes. Exceptional public prayers were made in various cities of Morocco, which reflects the state of heart of the people and gives an exact idea of its distressing situation which requires an effective and urgent remedy.

Acting in the real interest of the people and in accordance with its needs and aspirations, the Moroccan Action Committee had to study this question under all its aspects in order to submit to the responsible authorities the solutions which, to its best belief and knowledge, would contribute to reduce the weight of this crisis which is at the origin of the sufferings of all the Moroccan classes. The Committee has the firm conviction that the Government of the Protectorate will take into account the proposed solutions and act as much as possible in the interests of the distressed people. According to the current circumstances, these solutions can be summarized as follows:

  • As the major part of the harvest is lost, it is urgent that the Government takes the necessary measures to guarantee the supply of "the souks" (the traditional markets) in order to provide the population with the cereals which constitute the base of the daily subsistance of all the Moroccans.

  • In such circumstances, the speculators monopolyze the supply of cereals and cause the rise of the courses, and the buyers are the first to suffer from the price deregulations imposed on them. In fact, this is exactly what happened because, during the last month, the costs of the cereals in the Moroccan souks underwent an excessive rise. The Committee thinks that it is up to the Government to make an end to this rise by fixing the prices of the cereals on the basis of the average of the courses practised on the world markets and by supervising the courses of the agricultural productions without restricting the freedom of the internal market.

  • Creation of funds for public help

  • Reinforcement of the effort to provide work possibilities for the unemployed Moroccans, or at least to organize a program of assistance in their favour.

  • Guarantee of a complete liberty to all public activities tending to assist the poor and relieve their miseries.

  • Exemption of the agrarian lands affected by the drought from "the Tertib" (Tax due by the peasants on their agricultural products). Calculation of this tax in the regions partially affected by the drought on the basis of a real estimation of the harvest at the moment when the tax is to be paid by the peasant.

  • Exemption of the fellahs who are victims of the disaster from reimbursing the loans granted to them by their provident society.

  • Constitution of a reserve of cereals to be redistributed to the fellahs who will need a certain quantity of grains the next year for their seeds.

  • Stop all the seisures and judicial sales ordered by a court of law in order to protect the land of the fellah. Postponement of the payments of the credits contracted as private individuals by the bank institutes until the happening of a prosperous year and revision of the interest rates practised until then.

  • Necessity to fix the price of the flour produced by the millers in order to put it within the range of the financial means of the worker. Establishment of a severe control on the application of the measurements which prohibit the sale of the fodder flours coming from the flour mills (makinas).

  • Suppression of the drudgeries and loads to which the fellah in the village is subjected such as "the diffas" (big receptions) and "the sokhras"(Commision imposed on the litigants for the profit of the makhzen). Such obligations constitute serious reasons for complaint and are far from the modern conception of human rights.