12 DECEMBER 1952, Page 2

Tunisia and Morocco

Whoever they were who murdered Farhet Hached, the Tunisian nationalist and trade unionist, in the outskirts of Tunis last week, they gave the signal thereby for a violent spasm of anti-French demonstrations running westward across North Africa and reaching a 'bloody climax in the Casablanca riots. Whether or not the murder of Hached had been cold- bloodedly planned to coincide with the Opening of the United Nations debate on Tunisia (which is to be followed by a similar discussion of Moroccan demands for independence) is an open question, but the French authorities seem to have satisfied themselves that the eruption of violence in the slums of Casablanca was anything but spontaneous. The Tunisian nationalists say that Hached was killed by members of La Main Rouge, allegedly a secret French anti-nationalist organisation, but it would be a strange thing if Frenchmen committed a crime that would be a political disaster for France. The nationalists in Morocco contend that the Casablanca riots were caused by police provocation, but their contention looks thin when placed against the evidence of- careful premeditation that has come to light and the fact, for what it is worth, that one of the instigators of the riot, now under arrest, is a member of both the Nationalist and the Communist parties of Morocco. The French authorities, indeed, say that they have proof of collusion between the parties. The whole chain of events looks as though it was engineered to give immediate point to the Arab-Asian argument before the General Assembly's poli- tical committee that the situation in Tunisia and Morocco under French administration is a menace to international peace and security.