File No. 812.51/302

The French Ambassador to the Secretary of State


Mr. Secretary of State: My Government informs me that from information it has received it appears that Carranza’s need of money [Page 1012] has grown so that his Government cannot live without resorting to still worse measures of spoliation against foreign capital and banks in particular.

Should the pressing applications for financial assistance which he cannot fail to make in Washington be favorably received, at least to the extent strictly necessary to avert his Government’s downfall, it may be supposed that there would be a decrease or an end of the spoliations practiced on foreigners. But if this should come to pass, as my Government wishes it may, the Government of the United States will undoubtedly look upon it as an eminently favorable opportunity to stipulate express guaranties in behalf of the interests that have suffered. The assurances which I have had the honor repeatedly to receive from your excellency as to the necessity of fully safeguarding those interests and obtaining, when the time comes, compensation for losses sustained, encourage me to hope that you will concur in those views.

In my Government’s opinion, it would be highly desirable, in the event of financial assistance being extended to President Carranza, to stipulate guaranties as to:

The provisions inconsistent with international law that are found in the new Constitution, and also all legislation conflicting with public or private law.
The spoliations from which the banks have suffered, and the arbitrary measures taken in disregard of the contracts entered into by previous Governments or in violation of the rights of third parties.
The injuries of all kinds suffered by foreigners. If insuperable difficulties should be met in presenting a detailed enumeration of these various points, your excellency will doubtless deem it expedient at least to use a formula broad enough to cover all the interests that are to be safeguarded.

I take the liberty of commending these suggestions to your excellency and should be glad to know that, taking into account the magnitude of the damages done or to be apprehended, you will kindly entertain them.

Be pleased to accept [etc.]