711.12/546a: Telegram

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

132. The Secretary desires you to know that he has made the following textual statement to the press:

“I have discussed Mexican affairs with Ambassador Sheffield at great length.14 He has gone over the entire situation. It will be remembered that we entered into two Claims Conventions with Mexico15 under which Joint Claims Commissions were appointed to adjust claims of American citizens for properties illegally taken by Mexico and for injuries to American citizens of their rights. These Commissions are now sitting and will, in due time, adjudicate these claims. Conditions have improved and our Ambassador has succeeded in protecting American, as well as foreign, interests. Our relations with the Government are friendly but, nevertheless, conditions are not entirely satisfactory and we are looking to and expect the Mexican Government to restore properties illegally taken and to indemnify American citizens.

A great deal of property of Americans has been taken under or in violation of the Agrarian Laws for which no compensation has been made, and other properties practically ruined and, in one instance, taken by the Mexican Government on account of unreasonable demands of labor. Mr. Sheffield will have the full support of this government and we will insist that adequate protection under the recognized rules of international law be afforded American citizens. We believe it is the desire of the Mexican Government to carry out the Conventions and to indemnify American citizens for property taken. So long as we are satisfied that this is the policy of the [Page 518] Mexican Government and this course of action is being carried out with a determination to meet its international obligations, that Government will have the support of the United States. I cannot go into the details of the many cases which Mr. Sheffield has taken up with the Mexican Government but they will be worked out as rapidly as possible.

I have seen the statements published in the press that another revolutionary movement may be impending in Mexico. I very much hope this is not true. This Government’s attitude toward Mexico and toward threatened revolutionary movements was clearly set forth in 1923 when there was such a movement threatening the constituted Government of that country,16 which had entered into solemn engagements with this Government and was making an effort to meet those obligations at home and abroad. The attitude taken by this Government at that time has since been maintained and it is now the policy of this Government to use its influence and lend its support in behalf of stability and orderly constitutional procedure, but it should be made clear that this Government will continue to support the Government in Mexico only so long as it protects American lives and American rights and complies with its international engagements and obligations. The Government of Mexico is now on trial before the world. We have the greatest interest in the stability, prosperity and independence of Mexico. We have been patient and realize, of course, that it takes time to bring about a stable government but we cannot countenance violation of her obligations and failure to protect American citizens.”

The above is telegraphed to you for your information and guidance and for informal communication to the Mexican Foreign Office.