412.11 C 8315/–

The Chargé in Mexico (Schoenfeld) to the Secretary of State

No. 4696

Sir: Referring to my telegram No. 317 of today,80 relating to the expulsion from Mexico of Mr. Joseph de Courcy, correspondent of the New York Times, I have the honor to append herewith a translation from an article which appeared in Excelsior of this morning, giving a statement issued yesterday by the Foreign Office implying that the Embassy, in its representations regarding the harsh treatment accorded Mr. de Courcy, objected to the application of Article 33 of the Mexican Constitution:

“The Chargé d’Affaires of the United States did in fact formulate a representation in this matter, but, as it was a question of a political measure which is applied, not only in Mexico, but in the Republic to the North and in the other civilized nations of the world, the Ministry of Foreign Relations is not in a position to heed these representations.

“On the other hand, we constantly receive reports here regarding expulsions and deportations of Mexicans effected by the authorities of the United States, and naturally, for the same reason, our Embassy in Washington does not question the right of the American Government not to permit the residence in that country of undesirable aliens.”

I have also the honor to transmit herewith a copy and translation of a note which I have received from the Foreign Office dated August 18th, substantiating the foregoing statement and asserting that the Government of Mexico could not recognize the protest of the Government of the United States.

I have [etc.]

H. F. Arthur Schoenfeld
[Page 257]

The Mexican Acting Minister for Foreign Affairs (Estrada) to the American Chargé (Schoenfeld)

No. 13363

Mr. Chargé d’Affaires: I have the honor to refer to Note No. 2197 of August 12th,82 in which you inform me of certain details related to the detention of the American citizen Joseph de Courcy. You say that you have received telegraphic instructions from your Government to make an emphatic protest against what it calls the harsh treatment accorded De Courcy, and to point out that the failure of the Mexican authorities to inform the Embassy of the detention and of the charges on which the above-mentioned De Courcy was detained, and the “pretensions” of the Mexican authorities to have no knowledge of the arrest, despite the fact that the Embassy was already informed of what had occurred through other sources and had inquired at the Ministry for Foreign Relations, is in violation of the informal understanding reached three years ago between the Embassy and the Ministry for Foreign Relations. It is added that you have received urgent instructions from your Government to request the Government of Mexico to instruct the competent authorities to the end that in the future American citizens may not be subjected to detention of this sort without a formal charge having been brought against them, and that they may in all cases be permitted to communicate with their Embassy or with the Consulate General, and, further, that the Embassy be notified of such cases in accordance with the understanding which you say exists on the subject.

In reply, I have the honor to inform you that the expulsion of pernicious or undesirable aliens, as is universally known, is a simple matter of public order which governments have the exclusive right to exercise, as does your Government, and that I am not aware of the terms of the informal understanding to which your note refers, therefore, the Government of Mexico cannot recognize the protest of the United States; that I do not yet desire to refer to similar cases which have occurred between American authorities and Mexican citizens, but only to call your attention, at the present time, to the fact that our Embassy in Washington, respecting the sovereignty of that country, does not present claims in such cases, even though many of them might justly be the basis for a representation; and that in order to govern whatever decisions my Government may reach, I request you to inform me whether the Government of the [Page 258] United States of America is disposed to treat with or previously to notify our Embassy in Washington regarding cases of expulsion or deportation of Mexican citizens, pernicious or undesirable, from its territory.

I avail myself [etc.]

G. Estrada
  1. Not printed.
  2. File translation revised.
  3. Presented by the Chargé in accordance with the Department’s telegram No. 181, Aug. 11, p. 255.