The Secretary of State to the Mexican Ambassador (Téllez)

Excellency: I have the honor to acknowledge receipt of the Embassy’s note of October 8, 1926, concerning the proposed convention between the United States and Mexico to govern the admission of animals from either country into the other and to prevent spread of contagious animal diseases.

The draft convention prepared by representatives of the two Governments has received careful study by this Department. In general it appears to be satisfactory, but it is believed that Article XIII should be amended. In the English draft this Article reads as follows:

Article XIII

Certificates of inspection and testing of live stock issued by duly authorized veterinarians of either country shall be recognized by the other country.”

The Department considers the proposed Article just quoted to be broader than is necessary and believes that it might in fact give rise to some difficulty in operation. It is conceivable that while animals may be free from disease at the time they are inspected by veterinarians on either side, they may develop disease before they reach the border, which fact would be disclosed by examination at the time of such arrival. A literal interpretation of the provision that certificates of the testing of live stock issued by veterinarians of either country “shall be recognized” by the other country, might conceivably be thought to preclude any further test or investigation by the importing country as a condition of entry. This Government would not desire to be denied the right to make such test or investigation and does not believe that the Mexican Government would desire to be restricted in this respect. This Government, however, is prepared to sign the convention provided Article XIII is changed to read as follows:

“Certificates of inspection and testing of livestock, issued by duly authorized veterinarians of either country, shall be accepted as proof that such inspection and testing have been made; but, in any case of the offer of livestock for importation into either country, the issuance of such certificate shall not preclude further tests of such animals, or further investigation with respect thereto, to determine their freedom from or exposure to disease, before entry is permitted.”

Accept [etc.]

Frank B. Kellogg