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File No. 312.11/1123a.

The Secretary of State to the Secretary of the Navy.

Sir: With reference to the recent despatch to Mexican waters of various naval vessels which are under orders to observe and to report upon the situation, with particular reference to the protection of foreigners and foreign interests, I have the honor to say that this Department, in replying to the inquiries of various foreign missions at this capital as to whether protection would be extended to their nationals, has stated that after Americans and American interests have been provided for such assistance and protection would be extended to other foreigners and foreign interests as might be possible under the circumstances.

It seemed a matter of course that such a reply should be made, but since the Department has been unofficially informed by your Department that there is no specific rule among the Navy Regulations governing this matter, I have the honor to say that the Department would be glad to have the commanders of the various vessels in Mexican waters instructed to afford, after Americans and American interests have been adequately provided for, such assistance and protection to foreigners and foreign interests as may be possible under the circumstances.

I have [etc.]

P. C. Knox.