File No. 812.6363/221

Compañia Petrolera Maritima, S. A. to the Secretary of State

Sir: The letter of the Department of March 4, 1916, signed by Alvey A. Adee, Second Assistant Secretary, acknowledging receipt [Page 761] of my letter of January 7 and the addendum of January 15, together with the various exhibits attached, received.

The letter contains the telegram received from the Department’s representative dated January 25, the last paragraph of which states:

The Government of Mexico is surprised that the Government of the United States should make the representation transmitted when only the interests of Mexican citizens appear concerned.

My communication of January 7 shows the status of the Compañia Petrolera Maritima, S. A., as being without question the legal owner of the contract with the Mexican Government.

It is assumed from the last clause of the telegram referred to, that the Mexican Government or the officials who presume to represent that Government, are endeavoring to hide behind the pretention, that the original concessionaires named in the contract are still legal owners, because the present Government of Mexico has refused to recognize the legality of the transfer to the Compañia Petrolera Maritima, S. A. In this connection I might state that the Compañia Petrolera Maritima, S. A. has in its possession and owns every share of stock of the Compañia Petrolera Mexicana, S. A., which was the company of the original concessionaires.

Replying to your request for a statement of the beneficial interests in the Compañia Petrolera Maritima which are vested in American citizens, and of the proportion which such interests bear to those in the property of nationals of other countries, and particularly of Mexican citizens, I beg to advise you that the stockholders of the Compañia Petrolera Maritima, S. A. are comprised of only American citizens and Mexican citizens. The company has a stock capital of $1,000,000, of this amount $222,500 is owned by Mexican citizens and $777,500 is owned by American citizens. The Mexican Government, as well as the officials who have been in charge of the contract in question, know very well that American citizens have supplied this company with all its finances and own large and substantial interests in the company.

The principal stockholders interested in this enterprise and the gentlemen who subscribed the capital for this company in the United States, and who have furnished all the moneys for the purpose of carrying on the business of the company (the Mexicans not having provided any cash) are among the most prominent, honorable and successful business men of this country. Some of them are also identified with large operations in Mexico and are thoroughly competent and able financially to not only develop the concession to its fullest extent, but to exploit it to the advantage of the Mexican Government. Should you desire a list of the stockholders I will be pleased to furnish you with the same.

With this additional information I presume it is your purpose to obtain from the Mexican Government proper consideration of the request made by the Secretary of State to General Carranza to take appropriate steps to suspend the decree of forfeiture and to protect the property of the company against seizure and interference, as per the telegraphic instructions sent January 21, 1916.

I will be pleased to give any further information required by the Department and will appreciate very much if the Department [Page 762] will keep me advised as to further communications in regard to this matter.

Yours respectfully,

J. A. Vincent