710.E/190d: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Brazil ( Morgan )

23. For your information only and not requiring action on your part.

Brazilian Ambassador called on me yesterday under instructions and expressed the desire of his Government that if possible Mexico should participate in the Fifth Pan American Conference. In reply I have today sent him following Aide-Memoire:

“The Secretary of State has taken note of the desire expressed by the Brazilian Ambassador on behalf of his Government that if possible Mexico should participate in the Pan American Conference at Santiago and of the fear expressed by the Mexican authorities that in signing any conventions or treaties which might be the result of the Conference, the Government of the United States would make the reservation that its action should not be taken as a recognition of the Mexican regime.

The Secretary of State must take occasion to state that the Government of the United States entertains the most friendly feeling for the people of Mexico and the most earnest desire that diplomatic relations between the two countries should be resumed. The Secretary of State must point out, however, that the delay in achieving this result is not due to the attitude of the Government of the United States but to the failure of the Mexican authorities to give reasonable assurances that contract rights and valid titles acquired by American citizens under the laws of the Republic of Mexico will be properly respected. The Government of the United States has desired that these assurances should be made in a manner agreeable to the institutions of the Republic of Mexico but feels that a fundamental principle is involved the maintenance of which is [Page 296] important not only to the people of the United States but to all other peoples.

The Secretary of State had occasion to express the views of this Government in an address delivered at Boston, Massachusetts, on October 30, 1922, in which the following paragraph occurs:

‘Our feeling towards the Mexican people is one of entire friendliness and we deeply regret the necessity for the absence of diplomatic relations. We have had no desire to interfere in the internal concerns of Mexico. It is not for us to suggest what laws she shall have relating to the future, for Mexico, like ourselves, must be the judge of her domestic policy. We do, however, maintain one clear principle that lies at the foundation of international intercourse. When a nation has invited intercourse with other nations, has established laws under which investments have been lawfully made, contracts entered into and property rights acquired by citizens of other jurisdictions, it is an essential condition of international intercourse that international obligations shall be met and that there shall be no resort to confiscation and repudiation. We are not insistent on the form of any particular assurance to American citizens against confiscation, but we desire in the light of the experience of recent years the substance of such protection, and this is manifestly in the interest of permanent friendly relations. I have no desire to review the history of the past. The problem is a very simple one and its solution is wholly within Mexico’s keeping.’

With these views the Government of the United States shares in the desire of the Brazilian Government that Mexico should participate in the Conference at Santiago. It is also hardly necessary to state that if the Mexican authorities should send representatives to Santiago there would be no question but that they would receive from the delegates of this Government every possible personal courtesy. Moreover, it is not believed to be probable that the ordinary discussions and transactions of the Conference would give rise to any question as to the recognition by this Government of the Mexican regime.

It must be said, however, that in the nature of things it would be quite impossible for this Government to enter into treaties with a government which had not been recognized. And it is believed that the Government of Brazil will not fail to understand that the Government of the United States, while entertaining the most friendly sentiments toward the people of Mexico, could not undertake to give any pledge or promise in advance by which it would be precluded from making such reservations as might seem to be essential in any contingency that might arise.”