The Ambassador in Mexico (Sheffield) to the Secretary of State
[Received 8:17 p.m.]
522. Department’s 376, December 26, 11 p.m. I understand that none of the important companies have asked for an extension of time for filing applications for confirmatory concessions. However, I have been informed that a proposal was made and is being considered in New York today that the companies will acknowledge the receipt of the Minister of Industry’s reply of December 27 to the companies’ message of December 13, and that this acknowledgment will be to the following effect: Though adhering to the view that no valid confirmatory concessions can be granted under the petroleum law and regulations, the companies have noted the good intentions of the Mexican Government and suggest that in order to carry out these intentions it is necessary that sufficient time be afforded to bring the law into conformity with the recognition of valid preconstitutional rights.[Page 674]
The assumption here is that the Mexican Congress will grant the President of the Republic general powers in the Departments of Industry and Finance so that if the companies make the suggestion last above described, the door will be open for further negotiations.
In view of the above my intervention with the Mexican Foreign Office at this time would most likely be misinterpreted by the Government of Mexico and thus hinder a settlement. I think it would be better for me to express interest in the suggestion of the companies after the suggestion has been made. If the Department has no objection, I shall pursue this course.