File No. 812.00/6092.

The Secretary of State to the American Ambassador.


Your telegram February 11, 6 p.m. The conjecture that drastic instructions might enable the Embassy to induce a cessation of hostilities leading to negotiations for peace does not convince the President of the advisability of any such instructions at the present time. If the Embassy’s representations under such instructions should be disregarded the enforcement of such representations, with the accompanying message to Congress looking to authority for measures of actual war, might precipitate intervention, which should not be considered except as a last resort and if found justified after deliberate consideration of the whole Mexican question, including the situation of foreigners throughout the Republic. Action at present looking to intervention might, moreover, precipitate many of the evils of actual intervention and might, indeed, subject American interests in the City of Mexico to increased dangers under the cloak of the present turmoil. Drastic representations, furthermore, might radically affect the issue of military supremacy at the capital, which is one for the determination of which it is not now expedient for this Government to become responsible, and is, moreover, one which, once definitely settled, may well create a better situation than has existed for some time. As to the situation of foreigners in the capital, bad as it is, nothing seems thus far called for beyond the precautionary dispositions already made as to ships and so forth. In view of the warnings given, the kind of representations to both sides already approved, and other precautions so promptly taken by the Embassy, it appears evident that foreigners ought to seek places of safety until after the fighting, giving due heed to the emphatic recommendations which the Embassy should continue to make in this sense. The Department is gratified to note that there are no indications that Americans or other foreigners as such have thus far been subjected to more than the ordinary perils incident to such an unfortunate condition.