The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Mexico ( Sheffield )

No. 89

Sir: I enclose two copies of a statement which the Department gave to the press on June 6, 1924,1 announcing the conclusion of a Convention between the United States and Canada to aid in suppressing smuggling operations along the boundary between the two countries and in the arrest and prosecution of persons violating the narcotic laws of either Government. This Convention, of which a copy is enclosed for your confidential information2 has been approved by the Senate of the United States and is now awaiting ratification by Canada.

Responsive to frequent communications demonstrating widespread interest in the southwest in border conditions, this Department, in consultation with the Treasury Department, has been giving serious consideration to the problem of better enforcement of existing laws and of curtailing certain evils and vices now existent along the Mexican border. A short time ago, in response to an informal inquiry, advices were received from the Mexican Embassy at this capital to the effect that the Mexican Government was believed to be favorably disposed to negotiate with the United States a Convention similar to that with Canada and that the Mexican Government was then preparing a list of suggestions which the Embassy would bring to the Department’s attention as soon as received. It does not appear, however, that such a list has thus far been received from the Embassy, but the Secretary of the Treasury has now suggested that an informal conference be arranged between officials of this Government and representatives of the United Mexican States to discuss illicit traffic in narcotics, intoxicating liquor, tobacco, et cetera, and to formulate a Convention along the lines of that negotiated with Canada.

As it appears that there is no extradition treaty with Mexico covering crimes and offences against the laws for the suppression of the [Page 505] traffic in narcotics, it is suggested that it would be desirable to endeavor to negotiate an extradition convention with Mexico covering this subject. Such a convention has been negotiated with Canada and it is expected that it will be signed at an early date. A copy of this convention is also enclosed for your confidential information.3

Accordingly, the Department desires that you bring this matter to the attention of the Mexican Government with a view to arranging for an informal preliminary conference of officials of the two governments for the purpose of discussing the question of providing additional facilities for the suppression of such illicit traffic between persons residing in the two countries, and of drawing up draft conventions for submission to the respective Governments for their consideration. You will request to be acquainted with the views of the Mexican Government in this matter and telegraph a brief report to the Department as soon as you receive a reply.

I am [etc.]

Charles E. Hughes
  1. Not printed.
  2. Foreign Relations, 1924, vol. i, p. 189.
  3. Vol. i, p. 542. The convention was signed Jan. 8, 1925.