File No. 862.20212/89

The Ambassador in Mexico ( Fletcher) to the Secretary of State


13. Returned last night from Guadalajara. Spent several days in the company of the First Chief who expressed a very sincere desire to arrange all matters which have arisen or may arise in a spirit of accommodation. On the subject matter of your No. 10, February 26, 11 a.m., he was extremely cautious. He said that Mexico had not received up to the present time from Germany any proposition whatever of alliance; that for his part his sincere desire was that the war should riot come to this side of the Atlantic; that the peace note of Mexico1 was based on this hope, arid upon the humane motive of helping as far as possible to reestablish peace, and in compliance with the highest duties of self-preservation and defense. He spoke at length of his great desire to have the neutral powers accept some plan, not necessarily his, which would bring peace and did not seem to fear Germany’s future policy in case neutrals should or could impose peace at this time. He said that you had not replied to his note; that he hoped you would accept in principle, and if you will so accept he would suggest that conference of all the neutral powers be called in Washington where all are represented diplomatically with a view to discovering the [Page 239] most convenient form of contributing to the early restoration of peace in Europe, and he said it was immaterial whether the ideas proposed in his note should be adopted or others which the conference might deem more appropriate. In answer to my direct question as to his attitude in case Germany should propose an alliance, he said that Mexico desires to avoid becoming involved in the war and again referred to his note, but he avoided saying directly that such a proposition would be rejected. Personally I do not think Mexico would under present circumstances accept alliance referred to but I think First Chief wishes withhold categorical statement to that effect in the hope of inducing our Government to accept his peace proposals or a peace conference of neutrals.

While both he and Minister for Foreign Affairs were very careful and guarded in their utterances, I gathered that their sentiments inclined somewhat award Germany. As I was leaving the Minister for Foreign Afffairs yesterday, in reply to my statement that I was rather sorry I would not be able to send to the President a frank and categorical statement of Mexico’s attitude if an alliance with Germany should be proposed, he said that his Government wished to proceed step by step and that no doubt after a report had been received to their note the First Chief would confer with me again after having returned to the Capital next week, and he said that in any case Mexico’s conduct would be just and correct whether any statement was made or not; that they believed that actions spoke better than words.

Please advise me opportunely of any action on the Mexican note.

  1. Ante, p. 45.