The Ambassador in Mexico ( Sheffield ) to the Secretary of State
[Received February 20—2:35 a.m.]
48. The Counselor of Embassy and I discussed the Chamizal case with the Foreign Minister today. I pointed out that the principles which governed the operations of the International Boundary Commission respecting the elimination of bancos in the Rio Grande River were not clear enough to enable that Commission to function in accordance with the suggestion of the Mexican Commissioner until the attitude of the Mexican Government towards relinquishment of its claim to the Chamizal tract and its views on matters of treaty construction pertaining thereto were defined. The Foreign Minister said that his Government did not relinquish its claim on two grounds: (1) the arbitration of 1911 was in favor of Mexico; (2) the Government of the United States by its representations through me gave evidence that it considered the matter a controversial one. However, the Foreign Minister assured me that his Government was very anxious to receive suggestions from us looking towards a settlement of this controversy which was long standing and which Mexico had not taken up in the first instance because of the award in 1911 favorable to Mexico, the revolutionary period in Mexico, and the subsequent nonrecognition of Mexico by us. Relations were now cordial and friendly, he said, and he thought the time was most propitious for undertaking the negotiations. He promised that when I submitted the Department’s proposals he would immediately expedite their consideration with a view to effecting an early settlement of the controversy.
In view of this I am sending a formal note to the Foreign Minister with a copy of the draft convention including the articles which relate to the construction of a controlled river channel.
I am assured that his Government also desires to conclude the convention as quickly as possible because of the effect here and abroad. I shall press the negotiations earnestly.