File No. 3172/71.
The Secretary of State to the American Ambassador.
Washington, January 29, 1908.
Sir: The Department would be pleased to have you suggest to the Mexican minister of foreign affairs that the Mexican Government appoint an engineer to meet a similar officer to be designated by this Government, for the purpose of seeing if they can agree as to the amount of water which the United States and Mexico are respectively [Page 536] entitled to take from the Colorado River for irrigation purposes. It is further desired that the officers so appointed should consider and report upon the following matters:
- The nature and character of the use of Mexican territory which would be necessary or advisable in order to enable the officers of the United States Reclamation Service to protect the reclamation works at the Laguna Dam.
- In case the United States should acquire the rights of the California Development Co., the terms for an arrangement to be made with Mexico for the use of the existing canal rights owned by that company through its subsidiary Mexican corporation, and for the use of the bed of the Alamo River which connects this canal with the Imperial Valley.
- If the United States Government should not acquire the rights of the California Development Co., the terms for an arrangement which might be made between the United States and Mexico as to the treatment which should be accorded to the Mexican corporation which has been organized as ancillary to the work of the California Development Co.
It should perhaps be observed in this connection that the amount of water which the Sociedad de Riego y Terrenos de la Baja California, S. A., is permitted by its concession to abstract from the Colorado River, is regarded by the officers of the United States Reclamation Service as being excessive. It should be added that the determinations which may be reached upon these questions by the officers whose appointment is proposed are not to be regarded as binding upon either Government, but are to be reported to the respective Governments to assist them in reaching the basis of an agreement for the mutually beneficial use of the waters of the Colorado River.
I am, etc.,