TANGIER: 10.9.38

Papers on sale in Tangier: La Presse Marocaine (morning daily Casablanca), strongly pro-Franco; Le Petit Marocain (ditto), impartial; La Depeche Marocaine (daily Tangier), somewhat pro-Franco; Le Journal de Tanger° (apparently weekly), seemingly non-political, business announcements etc.; Tangier Gazette & Morocco Mail (English weekly Tangier, Fridays), corresponds to above, seems slightly anti-Fascist and strongly anti-Japanese; (a) also various other, French and Spanish, but seemingly no local Spanish pro-Franco paper.

Two buildings here flying Spanish Republican flag, including one called La Casa de Espana, some sort of club, displaying the usual Government posters. Some shops display Franco posters (the Arriba Espana poster almost exactly like a Government one). Writings on wall not common and pro-Franco and pro-Government ones about equally common, the latter perhaps slightly more so. Generally simply Viva or Muera Franco, or U.H.P., or C.N.T.F.A.I., or very rarely U.G.T. No initials of political parties except the F.A.I., the Phalange and once the J.S.U. All these inscriptions invariably Spanish. No clue to attitude of Moors. (See newspaper cutting Petit Marocain of 15.9.36.) (b)

Poverty here not extreme for an oriental city. Nevertheless an immense development of mendicancy, the whole town living on the tourist trade. Not many actual beggars but countless touts for curio-shops, brothels etc. Most people speak Spanish, many French and all those connected with the tourist racket speak some English. Local physique very good, especially the young men both Moors and Spaniards etc. In spite of Europeanisation almost all Moors wear the burnous and fez and most of the younger women are veiled. Estimated earnings of longshore fishermen about 3d. an hour.

There are four post offices, one French, one British, and two Spanish, Franco and Government. Stamps are British surcharged Tangier. Coinage as in French Morocco.

[Orwell’s notes]
(a) N.B. That English trade to Morocco has lost greatly to Japanese since 1934. England was then 2nd largest importer. Japan now 2nd, England 6th (D. H. Warre, “Present Day Morocco”).
(b) ’Le Temps’ of 23.1.39 said to have leading article (which I have not seen) seriously suggesting the French might take over Sp. Morocco on the conclusion of the Spanish War.

For Orwell’s approximate location, see Google Map. To see a P&O guide to Tangier from the SS Stratheden, click here.

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8 Responses to TANGIER: 10.9.38

  1. Very descriptive, and not once was weather mentioned. I like.

  2. Jerry Waller says:

    Had to Google “menicancy”. Led me right back to this entry. Discovered the mistake.

  3. Jason Anton says:

    I agree with Joseph…no weather=good!

  4. Pingback: Orwell’s diaries get interesting « Poumista

  5. mm says:

    This from our wiki as background:

    On July 17, 1936, General Francisco Franco led the colonial army from Morocco to attack the mainland, while another force from the north under General José Sanjurjo moved south from Navarre. Military units were also mobilised elsewhere to take over government institutions. Franco’s move was intended to seize power immediately, but successful resistance by Republicans in places such as Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, the Basque country and elsewhere meant that Spain faced a prolonged civil war. Before long, much of the south and west was under the control of the Nationalists, whose regular Army of Africa was the most professional force available to either side. Both sides received foreign military aid, the Nationalists, from the major European Axis powers, namely Italy, Germany, as well as neighbouring Portugal, the Republic from the USSR, Mexico and communist organised volunteers in the International Brigades.

    The Siege of the Alcázar at Toledo early in the war was a turning point, with the Nationalists winning after a long siege. The Republicans managed to hold out in Madrid, despite a Nationalist assault in November 1936, and frustrated subsequent offensives against the capital at Jarama and Guadalajara in 1937. Soon, though, the Nationalists began to erode their territory, starving Madrid and making inroads into the east. The north, including the Basque country fell in late 1937 and the Aragon front collapsed shortly afterwards. The bombing of Guernica was probably the most infamous event of the war and inspired Picasso’s painting. It was used as a testing ground for the German Luftwaffe’s Condor Legion. The Battle of the Ebro in July-November 1938 was the final desperate attempt by the Republicans to turn the tide. When this failed and Barcelona fell to the Nationalists in early 1939, it was clear the war was over. The remaining Republican fronts collapsed and Madrid fell in March 1939.

  6. Martin Watts says:

    “agree with Joseph…no weather=good!”

    Interesting weather better!

  7. Driss says:

    Je trouve votre blog intéressant
    Voici un site intéressant pour tanger !

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