File No. 711.1216M/167.

The Acting Secretary of State to the Mexican Ambassador.

Excellency: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your excellency’s note No. 464 of the 20th instant,1 in which, in accordance with the previous correspondence exchanged between this Department and the Mexican Embassy and also in accordance with your conversations with the Secretary of State, you present the bases of an arrangement [Page 552] for the construction in Mexican territory of the protective works necessary to guard the Imperial Valley in California, and other places, against floods of the Colorado River.

The bases as set forth in your excellency’s note are the following:

The works shall be constructed by the Colorado River Land Co., owner of the land on which said works are to be accomplished.
The said works shall he done in accordance with the surveys and plans approved by the inspector appointed by the department of fomento, Engineer Don Fernando Beltrán y Puga.
In the construction of the said works the rights of the riparian owners on both banks and of the persons to whom the Government of Mexico may have granted permits or concessions for the use of the water of the Colorado River shall stand unimpaired.
The Government of Mexico does not guarantee the result of said work nor assume any responsibility to private persons and, much less, to the Government of the United States.
The Government of the United States, even though it should aid the Colorado River Land Co. pecuniarily or otherwise, shall not acquire thereby or by virtue of this, agreement, any right of ownership or servitude, or any other, or [sic] over any part of the territory, or over the works that may be erected in Mexican territory whose rights, real or of any other nature, shall reside in the jurisdiction and sovereignty of the Government of Mexico.
The Executive shall propose to the Congress of the Union of the Mexican Republic the free entry of the machinery, beasts of burden, wagons, building material, field tents, tools, implements, and equipment necessary for the construction of the said works, as soon as the Colorado River Land Co., which is to construct them for its own account and in the capacity of a Mexican company, which is the only one legally competent to make all the arrangements conducive to the exemption of duties on imports, applies therefor, it being expressly understood that free entry will not be granted to food products or to supplies consumed by the said company in that respect.

I have the honor to inform your excellency that the Government of the United States finds satisfactory and accepts the above bases of an arrangement for the construction in Mexican territory of the protective works necessary to guard the Imperial Valley against the floods of the Colorado River, and that the engineers appointed by the President of the United States are proceeding to their work under and and in accordance with these bases. I also have pleasure in informing you that I shall be glad to take up with you, so soon as the situation has been more developed, the arrangement of various details which will present themselves in the practical carrying out of this work, as also the question suggested in my communication to you of November 28, in which it is stated that inasmuch as the levee, to be permanently useful, must be maintained in a state of adequate repair, this Department would be glad to undertake with you the negotiation of a treaty which would provide for the maintenance of the levee after it is completed.

Accept [, etc.],

Huntington Wilson.
  1. Not printed.