Mr. Thomas W. Lamont to the Counselor for the Department of State (Polk)


Dear Mr. Polk: Referring to my brief conversation with you on the telephone last week, I suggest that you do send for my correspondence with Auchincloss26 and you will then note what the whole [Page 645] situation is. You will remember that several weeks ago I conferred with him and you and Ambassador Fletcher on the advisability of having a committee constituted (not by the State Department but by banking interests), representing respectively, America, Great Britain and France, the thought being that the time had come when the appointment of such a committee would be advisable.

As a matter of fact our house had been urged by British and French interests for a long time back to head such a committee but we had not thought the time right.

The matter was left, you will remember in this way; we were to sound out the banking communities of London and Paris and learn definitely as to whether they would now like to join America in forming a committee to look after international investment interests in Mexico; and Fletcher was to talk with Carranza to find out whether he could not get Carranza to ask him to have such a committee started, so that we could be assured of Carranza’s cooperation beforehand.

We have conferred with London and Paris and find them in approval of the said idea. Paris has suggested that such a committee be made up, 50% from America and 25% each from Paris and London. London has not committed itself to this particular detail. That is not a matter of large consequence. For your private information London and Amsterdam are both pushing now for the appointment of various committees as to Mexican Railways and we believe that it is of importance that any such movement should be forestalled by the appearance of an omnibus committee such as I have described and such as was fully talked over with Mr. Auchin-closs. I don’t suppose that there is any way of stirring up Fletcher to prompter action because he is already very keen on the matter, but this letter together with the correspondence with Mr. Auchincloss will serve to bring you up to date.

Very truly yours,

T. W. Lamont

I may be in Washington on Friday & perhaps you can give me a moment.

  1. Gordon Auchincloss, assistant to the Counselor for the Department of State; correspondence not printed.