Memorandum by the Under Secretary of State (Fletcher)

Mr. Craigie47 called this morning and asked, on behalf of the Ambassador, whether it would now be possible for the Department to give him the text of the draft treaty with Mexico,48 and referred again to the understanding of full cooperation between the two governments with regard to Mexico. I told Mr. Craigie that I felt that we had complied with the spirit of that understanding in communicating to him the general outlines of the proposed treaty; that, [Page 432] with the exception of one Cabinet officer and the President, no one outside of a few officers in the Department knew anything about the proposed treaty; that it had not even been communicated, confidentially or otherwise, to members of the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee; that we did not wish to take any chances or do anything which might, even remotely, affect the decision of the Obregon government in the matter.

Mr. Craigie insisted that the British Government felt that inasmuch as they had been pressed by certain interests for recognition of Obregon, and had been criticized on account of the subserviency of their Mexican policy to that of the United States, they were entitled to have communicated to them, or that they be entitled to see, the text of the treaty. I repeated that we were very anxious to cooperate with Great Britain in this, that we highly appreciated their attitude of cooperation, and that I hoped they, on their side, would understand that our failure to communicate the text of the treaty was not due to any lack of confidence, or unwillingness to cooperate fully with them, but should be attributed solely to our belief that every precaution should be taken under the peculiar circumstances surrounding Mexican matters.

I told him that I did not think at this juncture that it would help matters to give him the text of the treaty; that this was a matter entirely within the hands of the Secretary, and that if he were disposed to send a copy of the treaty to the Ambassador I would be very glad to do so, and would bring the matter immediately to the attention of the Secretary for his decision.

I told him that we had received information from Mexico that we might expect some memorandum on the subject from the Mexican Government after the return of General Calles to Mexico City, and that we would be very glad to keep them in touch with the progress of the negotiations as they develop.

H[enry] P. F[letcher]
  1. R. Leslie Craigie, Secretary of the British Embassy.
  2. Ante, p. 397.