812.6363/448: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Chargé in Mexico (Summerlin)

1969. Inform Foreign Office substantially as follows:

The attention of the Government of the United States has been called to the fact that certain oil properties in Mexico leased by American Companies under Mexican law have recently been denounced by third persons; that American lessees have protested to the Department of Industry, Commerce and Labor against such denouncements and petitioned that no titles or concessions covering the properties in question should issue in consequence thereof; and that in at least one case said Department has required the leasing Company to submit evidence of payment of rental and royalties to the Mexican Government and to couch its protest in the terms stipulated by the decree of August 8, 1918.78

It seems quite clear that in these requirements an attempt is being made by the Mexican Government to coerce American Companies into the performance of acts, the results of which would be to admit in advance of the final settlement of the questions at issue the correctness of the contention of the Mexican Government in the matter of ownership of oil deposits, against which the Government of the United States has made solemn protest as threatening confiscation of rights legally acquired by American citizens.

Therefore, the Government of the United States is constrained to renew the protest previously made against this measure of threatened [Page 597] confiscation and to utter a present protest against the attempted coercion of American interests into an admission of the lawfulness of the means which the Mexican Government has adopted in an attempt to put its confiscatory plan into effect.

You will add that it would be regarded by the Government of the United States as very unfortunate were the Mexican Government, pending a final solution of its difficulties with the petroleum interests, to complicate the situation by the issuance to third persons of titles to or rights in lands legally held by American citizens.