Summer Time observed in Spanish Morocco, not in French. Franco soldiers at the stations dressed almost exactly like those of the Spanish Government. Luggage searched on train, but very carelessly, by typical Spanish official. Another official entered and impounded all French newspapers, even those favourable to Franco. French travellers very much amused by this and ditto the official, who evidently realized the absurdity of it.
Spanish Morocco evidently less developed than French, possibly owing to the barrenness of that particular area. Further South, in French Morocco, great contrast between the areas cultivated by Moors and Europeans. The latter have enormous areas given over to wheat (1,000,000 acres said to be cultivated by 3000 French with coloured labour), fields so vast that they reach the horizon on each side of the railway track. Great contrast in fertility. Soil in places is rich and very black, in others almost like broken-up brick. South of Casablanca the land generally poorer, most of it uncultivated and giving barely any pasture for animals. For about 50-100km. North of Marrakech actual desert, ground and hills of sand and chipped rock, utterly bare of vegetation. Animals: about the end of Spanish Morocco camels begin to appear, getting commoner until near Marrakech they are almost as common as donkeys. Sheep and goats about equally numerous. Horses not many, mules hardly any. Cows in the better parts. Oxen ploughing near Marrakech but none further north. All animals almost without exception in wretched condition. (This said to be due to two successive famine years.)
Casablanca is in appearance a completely French town (of about 150,000- 200,000 inhabitants, a third of these Europeans). Evidently considerable tendency for both races to keep themselves to themselves. Europeans doing manual and menial work of all kinds, but evidently better paid than the Moors. (In the cinematograph only Moors in the cheapest seats, in buses many white people unwilling to sit next to a Moor.) Standards of living seems not exceptionally low. Mendicancy noticeably less than at Tangier or Marrakech.
Marrakech has large European quarters but is more typically a Moorish town. Europeans not doing actual menial work except in restaurants etc.[a] Cab-drivers Europeans in Casablanca, Moors in Marrakech. Mendicancy so bad as to make it intolerable to walk through the streets. Poverty without any doubt very severe. Children beg for bread and when given it eat greedily. In the bazaar quarter great numbers of people sleeping in the street, literally a family in every doorway. Blindness extremely common, some ringworm and a certain number of deformities. Large number of refugees camping outside the town. Said to be some of the people who fled north from the famine districts further south.
It is said here to be punishable by law to grow tobacco plants in the garden.
[a] A lot of waiters etc. who look like Europeans speak to each other in Arabic & are probably Eurasians.