The Ambassador in Mexico (Morrow) to the Under Secretary of State (Olds)

Dear Mr. Olds: Confirming our telephone conversation, I understand from representatives of the oil companies here that the companies in New York feel that while the untagged land12 question is not important in itself to them, they have felt a moral obligation to make no settlement of their preconstitutional rights until the untagged land question is settled to the satisfaction of the State Department.

I understand that you will find an opportunity to make clear to representatives of the oil companies that so far as the State Department is concerned, it has no objection to the oil companies taking such action as they desire with reference to their preconstitutional rights. The State Department is, of course, entirely free to consider its interest in the question of untagged lands if and when a concrete case arises. Meanwhile Mr. Clark is making a careful review of [Page 298] that whole question and expects to be able to render an opinion within a short time.

With kindest regards,

Very truly yours,

Dwight W. Morrow

(Inadvertently not signed by Mr. Morrow before his departure for the week-end.)13

  1. Lands acquired in fee by American oil producers or other foreigners prior to May 1, 1917, but upon which no works of petroleum exploitation were begun prior to that date (file No. 812.6363/1672).
  2. Parenthetical remark in original.