The American Commissioner, International Boundary Commission, United States and Mexico (Curry) to the Secretary of State

Sir: Enclosed find copy of Minute No. 61 of a meeting held at the offices of the Mexican Section, Juarez, Chih., at ten A.M., June 23, 1925, for the purpose of taking final action on the petition of the City and County of El Paso, Texas, presented through their attorney, Major Richard F. Burges.

After a careful review of the report of Engineers L. M. Lawson, representing the United States and Salvador Arroyo, representing the Republic of Mexico, together with the report of the Consulting Engineers of this Commission, it was decided that these proposed cuts in the Rio Grande which extend from the cities of Juarez, Mexico and El Paso, Texas, for about eight miles down the river will have the effect of protecting the cities of El Paso and Juarez and valuable farming land from flood menace.

The plans of the engineers representing the two Governments, in which our Commission heartily concurs in provides for a continuation of the work of straightening the river, building levees, et cetera, through the entire El Paso valley, which on the American side is composed of the counties of El Paso and Hudspeth, and on the south side, the municipalities of Juarez, Guadalupe, Porvenir and San Ignacio.

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The expenses incurred in this work on the American side will be paid by the city and county of El Paso, and on the Mexican side by agencies of the Federal Government as their local municipalities are unable to bear the burden incurred by the proposed river cuts and levee system.

The Consulting Engineers of our Commission state that the bed of the Rio Grande has risen so high that unless there is some immediate measures taken there is great danger of a disastrous flood which will do great damage to a part of the cities of El Paso and Juarez and to the farmers below the two cities.

In view of all the circumstances I earnestly request that you approve our recommendations authorizing the proposed cuts in the Rio Grande, with the understanding that the expenses incurred so far as the United States is concerned will be paid by the city and county of El Paso, and that the proposed cuts shall be made under the supervision of our Commission through our respective Consulting Engineers.

I am [etc.]

George Curry

Minute No. 61 of a Meeting of the International Boundary Commission, United States and Mexico, June 23, 1925

Meeting called for June ninth, nineteen hundred and twenty-five, as set forth in Minute number fifty-nine having been postponed, was held by the Joint Commission at the offices of the Mexican Section at ten A.M., June twenty-third, nineteen hundred and twenty-five. The object of the meeting was to receive the written statement presented to the Commission by Mr. Richard F. Burges, representing the City and County of El Paso, Texas, and Hudspeth County Conservation and Reclamation District No. 1, in regard to the proposed flood control works in the Upper Section of the Valley of El Paso as presented by Engineers L. M. Lawson and Salvador Arroyo; also to render a resolution on the aforesaid project. Written statement was read and

Whereas, Mr. L. M. Lawson, representing the Government of the United States of América, and Mr. Salvador Arroyo, representing the Government of the Republic of Mexico, have formulated and presented to the International Boundary Commission, certain plans dated April 25, 1925, looking to the rectification of the channel of the Rio Grande in the Valley immediately below the cities of El Paso, Texas, and Juárez, Chihuahua, looking to the elimination of the flood menace caused by the silting up of the bed of the river;

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Whereas, the said report has been referred to the Consulting Engineers of the International Boundary Commission who have approved the same, with certain recommendations concerning the acquisition of title to areas to be cut off from one bank to the other of the river and also with recommendations as to the maintenance of the proposed works;

Whereas, certain levees have been constructed at the expense of national and local governmental agencies, and the extension and completion of such works in that portion of the river covered by the report of Messrs. Lawson and Arroyo could be speedily effected by carrying out the recommendations of the said report.

Whereas, the rectification of the channel of the Rio Grande and the corresponding defense works, as proposed by Engineers Lawson and Arroyo, will not cause damages to either bank of the river and on the contrary, they will directly produce immediate benefits, bettering seepage, public health, etc. and

Whereas, that said works are intended to stabilize the River avoiding gradual or sudden changes of the boundary line at this region;

The Joint Commission Resolved: That the recommendations concerning the rectification of the Rio Grande Channel and the construction of necessary structures covered by the reports of Engineers Lawson and Arroyo and of the Consulting Engineers are hereby approved, and recommendations are made to the Governments of Mexico and the United States to permit the execution of these works, and that the Engineers for flood control works, representing the Governments of Mexico and the United States be in charge of the general direction of said works under the direct supervision of the International Boundary Commission through its Consulting Engineers. It is absolutely necessary that works be carried out simultaneously at both banks of the river, otherwise serious consequences might be expected from performing works partially. It is also necessary that these works be considered as the first part of the general project for flood control works in the Rio Grande between El Paso and Fort Quitman, Texas, and that once the works are under progress they will continue until full development of the project is reached.

The Governments of Mexico and the United States will determine what agencies will carry out the works; the manner and date of their execution, how the corresponding expenditures will be made, and the resulting works maintained. Recommendations are hereby made to both Governments, that acquisition of rights-of-way and portions of land passing from one bank of the river to another be [Page 577] made by the agencies authorized to carry out the work. Parcels of land segregated from one side to another must be marked by monuments by the International Boundary Commission, and their jurisdiction will continue to be the same they had before their segregation, until the Governments of Mexico and the United States resolve otherwise. Attention of the Department of State of the U. S. A., and the Department of Foreign Relations of Mexico be called on the future convenience of changing the jurisdiction of the small portions of land segregated from either country, as a result of the rectification of the river channel.

Meeting then adjourned subject to call of either Commissioner.

George Curry

American Commissioner
J. Harrie Cloonan

American Secretary
Gustavo P. Serrano

Mexican Commissioner
José Hernández Ojeda

Mexican Secretary