812.6363/1896: Telegram

The Ambassador in Mexico ( Sheffield ) to the Secretary of State

317. My 315, July 16. Note dated July 17 received from Foreign Office states as follows:

“In advising Your Excellency that I have addressed the competent authorities requesting the necessary information, I beg leave to inform you of the surprise which has been caused my Government by the Embassy’s action, which is not in accordance with attitude assumed by the representatives of petroleum companies which, taking advantage of the conciliatory spirit which animates the Department of Industry in the matter, are negotiating the matter directly with that Department,”

[Paraphrase]. Morones, of course, has shown no conciliatory spirit except with regard to the amount of the bond, and, as set forth in Embassy’s telegram number 272, June 15, 5 p.m., the petroleum companies considered that paragraphs 3 and 4 of the order jeopardize their rights more than paragraph 2 does regarding the unlimited amount of the bond which obviously is impossible of fulfillment. Moreover, Petroleum Producers’ Association have declined to negotiate with regard to the amount of the bond, and have stated that they will not consent that Department of Industry act as a judicial body to pass upon property rights or titles.

Today I was informed that the Corona Company (Dutch) and the Aguila Company (British) will apply for concessions under the order and will accept conditions. The Marland Company appears undecided. Other companies are firmly opposed.66 Note from Foreign Office fails to answer in any way the direct questions which were contained in the Embassy’s note of June 22. [End paraphrase.]

  1. For correction of this statement, see the Ambassador’s telegram No. 319, July 23, noon, p. 681.