File No. 812.00/14397.

The Confidential Agent of the Constitutional Government of Mexico to the Secretary of State.

My Dear Mr. Bryan: I have the honor to transmit to you, herewith, copy in translation of a circular letter issued by Mr. Carranza to all military commanders of the Constitutionalist Army, which has for a purpose to preserve perfect unity in all the acts of our government in its relations with foreign representatives now in Mexico.

By having all matters brought directly to the attention of the First Chief, who, on account of the fact that he is the depositary of the Executive Power of Mexico, is really the only person with whom diplomats and consuls can deal, many misunderstandings and deficiencies will be averted.

With assurances [etc.]

E. Arredondo.


To all Military Commanders of the Constitutionalist Army:

The First Chief of the Constitutionalist Army has been apprised of the very frequent cases in which persons of various nationalities, styling themselves confidential or consular agents of foreign governments, without they really being [Page 653] so, and other persons styling themselves representatives of foreign colonies or large foreign interests established in Mexico, pretend to make representations, address notes and treat directly about matters of international importance with different commanders of the Constitutionalist Army. This action, even in cases in which it is taken by persons really accredited, produces the inconvenient effect of breaking up the unity which should prevail in all the acts of the Constitutionalist Government and tends to belittle the authority of the First Chief of the aforesaid army, giving room to disorder and lack of cohesion in governmental decisions, with much danger for our cause.

The defection of General Francisco Villa and other officers of the Northern Division affords a painful experience from which we must profit to prevent in the future any breach of political discipline by inexperienced leaders.

This Government is determined to comply with its international duties by affording just and lawful protection to foreign persons and interests, and this can only be properly done by the appropriate authorities, due to the fact that any representations made in behalf of foreigners directly to military chiefs who depend from this headquarters may not be efficaciously attended to, in detriment of the cordial relations which this Government desires to maintain with foreign countries and governments. Moreover, it being the exclusive province of the First Chief of the Constitutionalist Army to direct all kinds of diplomatic negotiations and to treat all international matters, receiving the agents of foreign governments and deciding all affairs relative thereto, I consider it imperative, in view of the above-mentioned facts, to remind all commanders of the Constitutionalist Army that they are not authorized to receive or admit, and much less to pass any decision upon, notes involving complaints, representations or any action taken in behalf of foreigners, no matter what the character of the representations may be, whether they proceed from consular or confidential agents or from persons styling themselves representatives of large interests, whose action near military commanders affects or may affect the diplomatic relations of Mexico or the duties or rights of the Constitutionalist Government with regard to foreigners living in this country. Military commanders to whom representations may be made shall confine themselves to informing the representatives of foreigners that they should treat such matters directly with the First Chief of the Constitutionalist Army.

With regard to suggestions, insinuations or promises of mediation in matters of our internal policy, which some foreign representatives may make with the good intention of assisting us to decide our difficulties, military commanders shall always discourage such interference, declining invariably any promises of political assistance made by foreigners, even though such assistance would seem beneficial, as it should always be borne in mind that all matters of our interior policy are of the exclusive province of the people and government of Mexico. This Headquarters, therefore, recommends to military commanders under the First Chief to abstain from admitting by their side any confidential agents or representatives of foreign governments or interests, to the end of avoiding all possible danger of a breach of discipline, inasmuch as the latter is of the greatest importance in the present moments of revolutionary struggle.

V. Carranza.