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

No. 3779

Sir: In confirmation of the Embassy’s telegram No. 66, April 4, 3 P.M.,2 I have the honor to forward herewith copy, and translation, of the declarations made by General Obregon. An official copy of these declarations was furnished me by Mr. Pani, the Minister for Foreign Affairs. I am enclosing also summaries, in translation, of local editorial and other comments on these declarations.2 They appear to be favorable, although both El Universal and Excelsior express a desire to see these words translated into facts. There is a difference of opinion on the street, however, as to whether General Obregon will be able to induce the Lower House to take any action.

As the Department is aware, this is the first official statement made by General Obregon, in regard to international matters, since his assumption of office on December 1, 1920. These declarations may possibly be intended as a partial reply to, or comment on, Ex-Secretary Colby’s communication of November 25, 1920,3 to Mr. Roberto Pesqueira, the Confidential Agent of Mr. de la Huerta at Washington; or their publication at this time may indicate a desire on the part of General Obregon to open or renew conversations with the Department in regard to the question of recognition.

I have [etc.]

George T. Summerlin
[Page 395]

General Obregon to the Mexican Foreign Office

To the Department of Foreign Affairs: Please transmit the following to our foreign representatives to the end that it may be published in the foreign press:

“The present administration of the Government of Mexico believes that the proper moment has arrived to make known, through its foreign representatives, that, continuing its unalterable purpose to win a legitimate prestige amongst the other nations of the world, it is pursuing a line of conduct which absolutely accords with the precepts of morality and law, and has initiated this policy with a series of acts which have taken place during the few months in which it has been established and which will not be interrupted until its noble purposes, which may be mentioned as follows, have been fulfilled:

  • “1. The establishment of a Government which, satisfying just popular aspirations, and being genuinely representative of all social classes, has brought as a consequence the complete pacification of the country without using any violent means to accomplish this end.
  • “2. It has undertaken a rigorous campaign of administrative moralization, which has brought about as a consequence that within a few months not only are the sources of revenue sufficient to cover completely the budget of disbursements, but surpluses have already been obtained.
  • “3. An absolute observance of the laws, imparting complete guarantees of the lives and interests of nationals and foreigners.
  • “4. A frank hospitality towards all those businessmen who have come and continue to come with the object of making large investments in our country, granting them all kinds of facilities for the development of their undertakings.
  • “5. The Government has initiated a period of extraordinary sessions in the Houses of Congress, during which the principal reforms of legal character will be discussed and promulgated, among these being the regulations under article 27 in so far as it refers to petroleum, which regulations doubtless will be based upon an ample spirit of equity, with the endeavor that their provisions will not have a confiscatory character and will not be given a retroactive interpretation.
  • “6. Already a decree has been issued that extends the term fixed for the admission of claims for damages caused during the revolution, and a law regulating these claims is about to be promulgated, creating a commission whose impartial arbitration shall be the best guarantee for the Government and the claimants.
  • “7. The restitution of all properties which have been seized by former Governments is about to be completed, and such important enterprises as the Mexican Railway have already been restored.
  • “8. With the object of expediting the administration of justice in the country, the Government has initiated and is about to complete a series of projects reforming Mexican legislation, for no other reason than that of administering justice by the most practical procedures, thus satisfying a national aspiration.
  • “9. Likewise, Congress will shortly receive a bill designed to grant greater guarantees to nationals and foreigners against the transgressions of those who, under the name of rebels, commit, as have been committed formerly, outrages against their lives and properties.
  • “10. An arrangement has already been entered into with the banking institutions for the whole amount which was due to them, approximately 55,000,000 pesos national currency, in such a manner as to leave said institutions completely satisfied, without impairing the good name and the credit of the Government, raising the attachment of properties decreed by former Governments and returning said banks to their owners and respective boards of administration.
  • “11. An invitation has been issued to all holders of our foreign debt, asking them to appoint their representatives immediately, and enter into arrangements with the Government concerning all its debts, upon the basis that the Government will not use any subterfuge or evasion, but on the contrary will found its settlement upon an ample spirit of equity, such as has served heretofore as a standard for all its acts, until they be completely satisfied.
  • “12. The Government has already made large investments, and is now making larger investments for the purpose of securing rolling stock for the National Railways of Mexico, thus bettering the service and replacing the stock destroyed during the revolution, in order to facilitate arrangements with the management of said National Railways of Mexico.

“The Mexican Government trusts that the facts related will inspire confidence in all those who have established themselves in business in the country as well as those who hope to do so in the future; and issues a cordial invitation to all citizens of other countries who wish to come to Mexico, where they will find all kinds of facilities, from the humble farmer who is looking for a tract of land to cultivate and form his patrimony, to the man of business and enterprise who wants to come and make large investments, all of whom may have the absolute certainty that they will enjoy all the prerogatives set down in our laws, and a very ample spirit of hospitality, which has been and still is characteristic of the Mexican people, provided they are men devoted to work, and willing to comply with the laws of morality and those of the country.”

I reiterate to you the assurances of my attentive consideration.

Sufragio Efectivo. No Reelección.

Mexico, April 2, 1921.

A. Obregón

The Secretary of Foreign Affairs
A. J. Pani

  1. Not printed.
  2. Not printed.
  3. Foreign Relations, 1920, vol. iii, p. 195.
  4. File translation revised.