The Mexican Minister for Foreign Affairs (Sáenz) to the Secretary of State


Excellency: I have the honor to refer to Your Excellency’s note of October 30 last61 in reply to mine of October 7 in which I reiterated the adherence of my Government with the first two of the four proposals therein, namely:

Acquired rights may not be impaired by legislation retroactive in character or confiscatory in effect.
Rights of property legally acquired are to be respected and guaranteed in conformity with the recognized principles of international law and equity.

As for the third proposal, my Government has not disavowed the conferences of 1923. It has only stated, and repeated, that those conferences did not have, nor do they have, the force of a treaty, otherwise it would have been necessary to observe the constitutional practice of both countries by securing, among other things, its ratification by the respective Senates. Our two Governments mutually agreed that the proceedings of the conferences of 1923 would not be made a condition for the resumption of diplomatic relations between Mexico and the United States.

Finally, Your Excellency reiterates the reservation made by the American Commissioners and recognized by the Mexican Commis-missioners in the meeting of August 2, 1923. Regarding this point my Government refers to that same meeting and states that the Mexican Commissioners in turn reserve the rights of the Mexican Government under its laws and the principles of international law as to lands in the terms which appear in the respective minutes, a reservation which is of no less importance than that made by the American Commissioners.

Regarding section 1 of article 27 of the Constitution and the petroleum law, Your Excellency states that the American Government hopes that the Government of Mexico will respect in their entirety the acquired property rights of Americans, and will take no action under the laws in question and the regulations issued in pursuance thereto, which would operate, directly or indirectly, to deprive American citizens of the full ownership, use and enjoyment of the said properties and property rights.

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My Government, on its part, hopes that the Government of the United States will indicate the concrete cases in which recognized principles of international law have been violated or will be violated in disregard of the legitimate interests of American citizens since in such cases it would be disposed to make indemnity for such violations.

The foregoing declaration makes it evident that there can be no justified motive for a misunderstanding between the Governments of Mexico and the United States over the questions which have been the subject of our correspondence.

I renew [etc.]

Aarón Sáenz
  1. File translation revised.
  2. Supra.