This episode is from the WNYC archives. It may contain language which is no longer politically or socially appropriate.
Ambassador Ahmed Taibi Benhima Morocco speaks through interpreter Hal Lehrman. Discussion to a skirmish that took place on the Algerian-Moroccan border in October 1963, it was a Moroccan attempt to claim the Tindouf and the Bechar areas that France had annexed to French Algeria a few decades earlier.
Audio courtesy of the NYC Municipal Archives WNYC Collection
WNYC archives id: 70419
Municipal archives id: T228
This is a machine-generated transcript. Text is unformatted and may contain errors.
Really. You say thank you very much. I have your attention please. Have your attention. Not on. Charlie. Dear me. Charlie. We try to. Turn these on. Man have your attention plays. I know that will turn it on. May I have your attention please before having the pleasure of introducing our own a guest of today I would like to make one of two announcements we will have a Latin American reception tomorrow from six to eight P.M. It will be the twenty fifth annual presentation ceremony of the John Morris Cabot and Maria Morris Cabot Awards and we hope that all of you will attend. The. We will have a regional dinner with Portugal as the center of our interest let's support one and so forth on November twelfth and a week from today. Our regular weekly luncheon will have as guests the Hearst task force Bob Considine Bill Hurst and Franken if you'll promise us a stimulating program and then on November nineteenth Dick trigger ask us will be with us for a book Night on the occasion of another of his his many fascinating volumes being published it's a great very great pleasure today to have with us and best of Ahmed tell you B. Ben Hema the permanent representative of Morocco to the United Nations he's a graduate of see else politic in Paris he got into politics as a very young man indeed as president of the Moroccan Students Association in Paris just ten years ago and as early as nine hundred fifty six was shift a cabbie ne of the Moroccan minister in charge of negotiations for independence he's had a brilliant career as one of the outstanding young men of Africa climaxed already by serving as president of the Security Council the youngest ever to hold that enormously responsible position it's a great pleasure for us to welcome ambassador Ben Hema thank you thank you. Makes. It all these years. Late. You need to tell you that sauce did up around that because you tell me you don't put the fat me. I mean he can't put it up on the issue who probably could have foreseen fuckers ready. For a divorce should have pretty on August. I want first to apologize for not being able to address you an English I have not have the opportunity to learn the language as well as I might hope but I promise myself and you will that I will I hope shortly in contact with my American friends to learn the language better to be able to dress you in English next time. See what a pleasant tone you might talk use in your explicate. Sandys espied them program today did he call her left like you know get put to death eek am Porto. Put in a communal tackiness or not I'm very gratefully over Overseas Press Club for they are but you know they had me come here to meet me to explain a situation which is of extreme importance in the area and for the entire world. Was it to sit me down to make sure for a family I think's a problem men see Nate and upon your parish do carry more could you men he late be remarkably more expose a part of a present in a Soon I'll eat it. But ground train one time but it's because of problems although many a problem has been on the front pages only sends a very recent time. Very important and very well known and I will. Eliminate the need for giving you the well known details of the background. Very rapidly. Now from us. So perfect I'm sure tomorrow on these next on News. It didn't be I didn't I soon I know it didn't meet a lot of the I thin to not see from. The who feel me part of the at Tennessee and. Let me remind you of that wham. France first came into all my country and nine hundred twelve of the frontiers war already a very clearly delimited by international agreement D P F O's we see do move if you. Do turns out don't. Mean you don't have full care not IMO Don't assume if you Pete. Since last time from that time on France I have tried or tried to modify certain parts of the line especially in notably in the south. From us at least three. In Iraq you could talk to. Me since you actually end. Of this was not too difficult because of France at the time administered not only Morocco all but also Tunisia and Algeria and on occasion she would put a little more of Tunisia and to Algeria or a little more of Morocco into Algeria these are. The two modes exists don't don't he said mean essential from key prove. Important records are in existence and archives and libraries which demonstrate the. Mobility of the frontage. On these there are some. Going to knock out Denise on any Pardos. And of course I think enough Ross. Take. For example top. Examinee own accord on top and nine hundred fifty six when Morocco received it in the pan thems. There was a complete recognition Rockall sovereignty and it was well noted that there were one or two problems which still need to be in the go she added in the future undersea problem. The problem different. From us not on our G.D.P.. We finally could you know from the mean. One of the points of the. Crown share with our sons Algeria was under French. French rule it was necessary to the limit with France Iraq going from slightly Frankl Al dear old Moroccan bought up. There was there was no. Problem here. From. Kilometers to this point here. Well below feet. From it deep and to my Soon more. Sank less from terror had better internationally recognized eighteen forty five. Last. Year for military. Don't meet a D.D. me and there. Was a. Type of the frost in a fraud. At the time when Morocco intervened on the side of Algeria to help the enemy or our Belgrade our we were defeated in that intervention from dictated the piece. Of shit from. The dish up. As a result of us from dear ones the stablished imposed on Morocco when Morocco was in a condition of feebleness if you can feel me don't be so kind of sad it was confirmed by the court of eighteen forty five. And by the Treaty of one thousand eight hundred one. Rests. The. Bases the rest of the front here had never been determined in a person I smiled. Up at me Don't be the. Know it be you we are. Different. From is or not. Let me. Let me remind you all that in the desert area of the from Terre is not a question of a linear die mentioned but of a zonal by mention. Usual graph. Or. Concept. Happens on the moment and in geography I have always taken account of this concept in various on the world. I don't get I'm not Corkey eighty feet I think you're not an American from. Time to ponder I return to the treaty which was made between ourselves and only immediately after our independence. From. Key examine your a problem different yet. The two governments pledged themselves to set up a commission which would negotiate the problem and reach a decision of mutually agreeable. Meet the source he D. not and they could live them off. Don't keep. Us don't do so in a phone. We continued to exchange notes on the matter with France sometimes it was ourselves the Moroccans were took the initiative and sometimes it was the French or took the initiative. What prevented from some Morocco from reaching an agreement. The existence of the Algerian wall. Street I'm not to speak to prominent I insist on this point because I will show up and show you one other aspect of the problem. And tennis. You know that timeshare is an international zone. You know that span I have like quite a lot of zone in the north of Iraq so. You don't want to see and also all that Spain has a zone in the south. I think leap. Between nine hundred fifty six and nine hundred fifty eight. Regulated and settled all its other problems with fronts I was playing. Then he said. The difficulty in this particular area was that there were special circumstances. He. Gets more problematic on the side of France one of the reasons which pushed her or kept her from regulating the matter with us assistance model and. You know. Enough about us to another form of assistance. I presume from the left was not you know. Our our aid our Moroccan a tool Algeria was going to cost us heavily. You don't get any. Of the F L M letters to say the Algerian revolutionary group had to receive permission authorization from Morocco to establish. Troops military installations and of. Course. Even after our independence of constantly that attacks against of that line and even beyond the. Attacks on US specifically but. Reprisals. Against the Algerian action originating in their territory. This is one of the reasons we should be labeling the goshi Asians on the border with from. The. A second reason for the delay was I a certain. Agreed to. This problem with the Moroccan government me. Me. But I at this moment of a Moroccan government like many other governments in the world I had already recognized the provisional Algerian regime. From. The logical consequence of that for us the only voice which could properly speak for Algeria. The provisional Algerian government. You know. Some of. The press. We are the French government that delivered a written note to the government of Morocco a note to which his majesty the king made reference the other day and which of the French government proposed the reconstitution of a group for negotiation. We said no. She could move into. France can no longer speak in the name of wild area there is only one government which can speak in Algeria name the temple could only meet young. People here only perhaps. For the immediate future it was an Iran is policy. And also the event. Be. No. Doubt but for the long range feel the value. Of civilization which are the basis of a society make us feel that we were not wrong do you not. Think that false sense of sense than we have had no dialogue no exchanges with the with crimes on this problem. And the members of the Algerian government work kept informed of the attitude of the Moroccan guy he sought to explain to me. I don't care what they expressed their gratitude to. The late King of Morocco me. But wait sad timing apart from the sound of the gratitude it is necessary to get on with the problem and discussion between. I think. You will eat. You don't. Eat. And we engaged in conversations with the Algerians which and that an agreement signed by far our boss the prime minister of the provisional government and the king Haas on the second. Don't you feel. These documents have been officially revealed some days ago. Some gosh. They Algerians agreed to firmly that the day of that in the past was rather of the front of which had been established could not be a poll. Against Iraq. This is Lee historic basis of the problem. These give. Us your. Sense independence all the Algerian leaders agree that there is something to talk about those they have for the past two years have not seemed to be able to get together with us on a. Deep. Study first of all of that president Ben I was only a chief of government and it was necessary to wait for reelection set for national institutions to emerge. You know. Eat. Them they said We have internal difficulties and oppositions and this is not a good time to discuss the problem. Each time we accept these reasons. Deep. Down and that recently when President when the king was and Algeria president told him that we hope to settle this problem and of the month of October November is not. The of course. Yeah breezy don't belong to me to protect keep it classy she could do better not. Let theory do you as he and it could have been you want to tell us or not so you have a new problem different to get your family uniform if you can get them unfortunately by the end of September Bendel I was confronted with an internal problems and they use the classic pretext so often followed everywhere are distracting internal attention during times of trouble to some external difficulty. W.'s are crazy if they didn't first he accused us of helping the opposition. To some I'll eat. Your wife. He doubted me. And she. Cut me. About on this point the King when he was now the area and Marge. Turned over as a present to the Algerians about four. Week. Of four million dollars two billion francs worth military material which had been left in Morocco. I would bet money. You kept on the same time helper government militarily and would be an accomplice of the opposition. Even when you meet THEIR don't force he said except here they are position accused us of giving banned by military means with which to strengthen his dictatorship to set up a fantasy all this happened at the end of September. First. Algerians began to attack small posts along the frontier at that point. Would be. The. Sense that can happen sometimes between countries we limit ourselves to our asking our embarrassed door and Algeria and asking questions honestly Algerian ambassador in Morocco. Me. Me. Well we were told that these were actions my elements of the army which were not yet on the control not yet well that's. A neat friend and we were told that all this could not constitute a grave danger between two governments which were friendly and fraternal mate. Don't need you to wasn't. On the night of the thirtieth of October there was no attack. Heard About told there was an attack which was much greater. I mean East America. And. A delegation a minister. And the director of the military cabinet from Rabat to. Discuss the matter. We agreed to have a meeting out of. Meeting took place. Don't you he. Told. Very dramatic. Although in this agreement we agreed to on both sides that there will be no more attacks that there will be no more I'm selves on the radio no more mutual abuses another lawyer song the night of the eighth of October. Me. Keep seeing the posts you see. Terry. Last night the Algerian army attacked the. Moroccan post where having the material. We notified me that two Moroccan postman attacked. They replied These are Algerian. I don't eat. From the stats let me point out to you of this line which is apt the bottom of the. Map was made in one thousand nine hundred fifty. Six That is to say by the French president. It was not a map made by the Moroccan. That will last. War of fifty five years. Of probation. I. Will tell you in a word. Hundred fifty was made of the time when the. General President of the. Three object it was of his policy. To eliminate the nationalist movement. To eliminate the king of Iraq. Fifty three. And to reduce Moroc and territory to. Myself to refer to a map of nine hundred fifty general. Going to be independent and. You know what. And I say categorically that after all and the king of Morocco has set up to the entire world that we have been attacked at these two posts by the Algerians on the eighth of October but do but only if I have one can pardon everything to one's brothers make up the system will fight but when they ceased being your brothers when we voted for the people then you can no longer free those brothers your money my h