File No. 3172/36–42.


No. 375.]

Sir: With reference to my No. 359, of the 14th instant, I acknowledge and confirm, respectively, the following telegrams from and to the Department of State on the subject of the control of the Colorado River:

Washington, D. C., December 15, 1906

American Embassy, Mexico:

We are much gratified by the attitude of the Government of Mexico. Keep us informed of the action looking to annulment of concession. Definite conclusion will probably be reached here within a short time looking to control of the Colorado, whether by action of the Government or of the parties interested. Immediately upon such determination we will communicate with you regarding suggested permit and any convention which may appear to be requisite.


Washington, D. C., December 17, 1906.

American Embassy,

You will express to the Mexican Government this Government’s appreciation of the good disposition of Mexican Government towards stopping flow of water from the Colorado River into Imperial Valley, as reported in your telegram of the 14th instant.


Mexico, D. F., December 21, 1906.

Secretary of State,
Washington, D. C:

On the evening of 19th I received the following from minister for foreign affairs, it being a copy of an order from minister of fomento to the agent of the Colorado River Co.:

Under yesterday’s date this department advised Licentiate Ignacio Sepulveda as follows The chief of the Mexican Boundary Commission with the United States has informed this department by wire that one of the borders of the Colorado River has again broken, causing waters to take a new course toward Salton. As this occurrence is the result of the works carried into effect by the company you represent, and as the same is causing incalculable damages, this department urges the Compañía de Riegos y Terrenos [Page 528] de la Baja California through you in order that without any loss of time and with the energy that the case demands it take action to close the open gap and return the waters to their old bed towards the Pacific Ocean. In the event that the works necessary to attain the above end are not carried into effect with all activity and in the manner required to reach complete success within the three months following this date, this department will take such steps as may be indicated.

I immediately called the attention of the foreign minister to the time that might be lost under the foregoing order. Last night I received the following from him: “I have arranged with the minister of fomento, with previous consent of the President, that he will immediately write or telegraph to Mr. Sepulveda that the company has to demonstrate within 10 days after notification of our engineer, Mr. Puga, and to the satisfaction of that engineer, their ability to control the waters in the manner explained in the last communication to their agent. Mr. Puga is or will be very soon on the frontier. Announcement is also made now to the company that if they fail to make the demonstration, measures will be taken as it may be expedient, meaning the withdrawal of the concession.”

D. E. Thompson.

Mexico, D. F., December 22, 1906.

Secretary of State,
Washington, D. C.:

Referring to my telegram of yesterday: The following just received from ministry of fomento through the foreign office:

“Department of fomento, colonization and industry. This department has on this date advised the Campañïa de Riegos y Torrenos de la Baja California as follows:

“In view of the representations made before our Government by the American ambassador in Mexico demonstrating the irreparable damages which property is liable to suffer in the Imperial Valley in case the overflow of Colorado waters continues toward Salton Sink, the President of the Republic has been pleased to order that a notification be served upon you, as I now do, with a view to give assurance to the Government of the United States that the present conditions will have a prompt, efficient, and radical remedy, for which purpose the Compañía de Riegos y Terrenos de la Baja California should demonstrate before and to the entire satisfaction of the chief of the Mexican Boundary River Commission with the United States, within the peremptory term of 10 days after being required by said chief, that the company possesses, has at its immediate disposal, and shall invest in the proper way, the capital, implements, laborers, and all such elements as may be indispensable to within the term of 3 months, designated for the purpose, control the situation of the Colorado River, close the open gap on its borders and definitely return the waters to their old bed.

“The same chief executive has ordered besides that you be told, as I now do, that in the case that the Compañía de Riegos y Terrenos de la Baja California does not give the demonstration in question, under the conditions and terms fixed, action will at once be taken to annul the concession granted to said company to divert the waters of the Colorado River, without prejudice to any other action which may be taken to remedy the evils caused and which are justly attributable to the same company.

“Which I have the honor to transmit to you for your information, begging you to give the chief of the Mexican Boundary Commission with the United States the instructions which the case demands to the end that he may be able to comply with the commission to which reference is made in the present writing.”

I have, etc.,

D. E. Thompson.