File No. 812.00/7253.

The American Ambassador to the Secretary of State.

No. 1924.]

Sir: Supplementing my despatch No. 1917 of April 2, 1913, in which I transmitted copies of correspondence exchanged with the Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Provisional Government of Mexico relative to the continuance of American war vessels in the port of Vera Cruz, I have the honor to transmit herewith further correspondence in the matter.

I have [etc.]

Henry Lane Wilson.
[Inclosure 1—Translation.]

The Minister for Foreign Affairs to the American Ambassador.

Mr. Ambassador: This Department has received, first your excellency’s note of the 2nd instant, and afterwards, your note of the 1st, relating to the stay of American vessels in ports of this Republic.1

Your excellency states [etc.]

It is my duty to invite your excellency’s attention to three points which I consider of the greatest importance in the matter:

At no time, whatever may be the circumstances of the country, can the principles upon which the sovereignty of a country is based be considered as suspended, and much less with reference to measures of a military and naval character. For this reason Mexico considers as a matter of the greatest timeliness, and duly appreciates, the explanations contained in your excellency’s letter, to which I will refer in due time.
The opportunity in which a question of this character can not exist or fail to occur on account of external acts, such as the recognition or non-recognition of the government of a sovereign nation; and,
Speaking of recognition itself, I must say that Mexico considers that its Government has been formally recognized by all friendly Governments which have representatives in this country, as appears from the official relations maintained by said representatives with the Chief Executive and with the Department under my charge, the undersigned being of the opinion that the reply given to the autograph letter by which the President announces his succession to power [is] a mere consequence of the above-mentioned relations.

In the opinion of the undersigned, these considerations are of much more weight considering that in the present case it is not a question of a de facto government, but of one which has all the constitutional characteristics and requisites, as is known to your excellency by means of evident and well-known facts.

[Page 792]

After having made the above explanation, I can not refrain from thanking your excellency for the information contained in the note under acknowledgment that orders have been given by the Navy Department recalling the vessels stationed in Gulf ports, which stay I can assure your excellency is not necessary to maintain the peace in the port and State of Vera Cruz, because, contrary to what appears from the reports of the American Consul, the Governor of the State as well as the Commander of the port, are loyal to the Government.

I trust that your excellency will have the kindness to communicate to me the result of the action taken in the matter after informing the Washington Government of the provisions of the Mexican law which forbid foreign vessels from staying in Mexican waters for more than thirty days.

I avail [etc.]

F. L. de la Barra.
[Inclosure 2—Translation.]

The Minister for Foreign Affairs to the American Ambassador.

Mr. Ambassador: I have the honor again to address your excellency in order to reiterate the desirability of securing from the Department of State a reply concerning the stay of American vessels in ports of this Republic, as it has been extended beyond the time which the law permits the Mexican authorities to grant, as explained to your excellency in my previous notes.

I believe that your excellency’s Government will duly understand this indication, inasmuch as it must be convinced that mutual respect has always constituted the firmest basis of the good relations which happily unite the two peoples and the two Governments, and that it would be lamentable if they should become less cordial, even for a brief time, which would probably happen if unfortunately the representatives of the press should take note of the provisions of the law of Mexico, which are imperative in this connection, and which do not leave any discretion to my Government concerning the strict watch it should exercise in the performance of its duties in matters of this kind.

I do not doubt that the Government of the United States will justly estimate these suggestions, which are in keeping with friendly relations and the spirit of justice on which they are based.

I avail [etc.]

F. L. de la Barra.
[Inclosure 3.]

The American Ambassador to the Minister for Foreign Affairs.

Mr. Minister: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your excellency’s esteemed note of April 5th.

I have carefully noted the considerations to which your excellency is good enough to invite my attention, as pertinent to the further continuance in Mexican waters of American war vessels, and I am obliged to say that I am not in agreement therewith.

All of the representations of your excellency’s Government relative to this question, with the exception of the note to which this is a reply, have been duly transmitted by telegraph to the Government at Washington, but as I have received no instructions in reply thereto I assume that it is not the purpose of my Government, as yet, to alter its policy in these matters with respect to Mexico.

I beg to suggest to your excellency that in view of your reiterated representations to me on this question, its discussion be transferred to the Mexican Embassy at Washington, by which procedure results perhaps more satisfactory may be achieved.

I avail [etc.]

Henry Lane Wilson.
[Page 793]
[Inclosure 4.]

The American Ambassador to the Minister for Foreign Affairs.

Mr. Minister: I have the honor to acknowledge your excellency’s esteemed note of April 10, again inviting my attention to the undesirability of the continuance of American ships of war in Mexican ports.

I am obliged to say to your excellency that, while I have, in compliance with your expressed wish, again telegraphed to my Government at Washington the substance of the views which you have expressed, I must reiterate to you my desire to have this discussion transferred to the Mexican Embassy in Washington, where, as of course your excellency understands, it properly belongs.

I avail [etc.]

Henry Lane Wilson.
  1. See inclosures in Mr. Wilson’s despatch of April 2.