Statement Issued to the Press by President Calles on June 14, 192517
Declarations of the State Department have been published in which Mr. Kellogg, answering some questions relating to the visit of Ambassador Sheffield to said department, affirms that some properties of American citizens have been illegally taken in Mexico for which no compensation has been made and in one instance taken by the Mexican Government on account of unreasonable demands of labor. At the same time he refers to the Joint Claims Commissions stating that he is convinced that the Mexican Government wishes to comply with the conventions and indemnify for the properties taken from American citizens; that he has seen the statements published in the press that another revolutionary movement may be impending in Mexico and that the Department of State very much hopes this is not true, the attitude of said department being to use its influence [Page 519] and lend its support in behalf of stability and orderly constitutional procedure in Mexico, but it makes clear that the American Government will continue to support the Government in Mexico only so long as it protects American lives and American rights and complies with its internal engagements and obligations. He adds that the Government of Mexico is now on trial before the world.
It is a duty for my Government to rectify said statements as required by truth and justice. The best proof that Mexico is willing to comply with her international obligations and to protect the life and interests of foreigners lies in the fact that although, according to international law, she was not bound to do it, she invited all the nations whose citizens or subjects might have suffered damages through acts executed during the political upheavals that have taken place in the country with a view to conclude with them a convention to establish joint commissions that might consider said damages in order to grant due indemnizations. Besides that another convention was entered into with the United States to adjust claims of citizens of both countries against the other and in said convention are included all cases in which properties or rights might have been affected in disagreement with the Mexican laws. Therefore, so long as the aforesaid commissions do not adjust the cases submitted to their decision, it is irrelevant to charge Mexico with failure to protect American interests and violation of her international obligations.
The application of the Agrarian laws cannot be a subject of complaint because Mexico has issued them in the exercise of her sovereignty, and apart from that the State Department, in behalf of the American citizens, has accepted the form of indemnization prescribed by Mexican laws.
It is to be regretted the contradiction found in Mr. Kellogg’s statement, when he declared that the United States have the greatest interest in the maintenance of order in Mexico and in the stability of her Government and at the same time stated that he had seen news of revolutionary movements since this last affirmation, tends to cast some alarm in the world in regard to the conditions of my country. And finally the statement that the Government of the United States will continue to support the Government of Mexico only so long as it protects American interests and lives and complies with its international engagements and obligations embodies a threat to the sovereignty of Mexico that she cannot overlook and rejects with all energy because she does not accord to any foreign country the right to intervene in any form in her domestic affairs nor is she disposed to subordinate her international relations to the exigencies of another country.[Page 520]
The statement under reference affirms also that the American Ambassador has succeeded in protecting American as well as foreign interests, and if he has thus succeeded he has no right to charge Mexico with failure to protect said interests, and attention should be called to the fact that said Ambassador does not represent any other foreigners but his own fellow citizens, and Mexico could not admit that without her previous authorization the American Ambassador should act in behalf of persons or interests alien to those of his country.
If the Government of Mexico, as affirmed, is now on trial before the world, such is the case with the Government of the United States as well as those of other countries. But if it is to be understood that Mexico is on trial in the guise of a dependant, my Government absolutely rejects with energy such imputation, which in essence would only mean an insult.
To conclude, I declare that my Government, conscious of the obligations imposed by international law, is determined to comply with them, and therefore to extend due protection to the lives and interests of foreigners; that it only accepts and hopes to receive the help and support of all the other countries based on a sincere and loyal cooperation and according to the invariable practice of international friendship, but in no way it shall admit that a Government of any nation may pretend to create a privileged situation for its nationals in the country, nor shall it either accept any foreign interference contrary to the rights and sovereignty of Mexico.
- Reprinted from the New York Times of June 15, 1925.↩