File No. 812.6363/283
The Secretary of State to Ambassador Fletcher
Washington, June 23, 1917, 3 p.m.
285. Referring to Department’s 234, June 6, your 229 June 7, 235 June 11.
Would this in your opinion be an opportune time to call to General Carranza’s attention the announced purpose of the legislative branch of his Government to adopt legislation declaring petroleum to be the property of the nation as reported in El Universal of June 4 and to ask him whether it is the purpose of his Government to [Page 1070]adopt such legislation pointing out in this connection that if this proposed legislation is given retroactive application to existing American rights in petroleum property in Mexico, the views of the Government of the United States expressed in the above-mentioned communication of June 6 as to confiscatory and discriminatory enactments against American owned properties in Mexico will demand immediate consideration. This subject is of course of great interest to many American companies. The Department however believes you should use your discretion in determining whether this matter should be agitated at this time.