411.12P/407a: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Minister in the Netherlands (Tobin)


13. Department’s telegram No. 3, dated January 18, 6 p.m.55 Inasmuch as the United States and Mexico have failed to agree upon the person to be appointed Presiding Commissioner of the General and Special Claims Commissions, United States and Mexico, it is necessary to resort to the alternative procedure as provided in the two claims conventions. The Department instructs you, therefore, to confer immediately with the Mexican representative in the Netherlands, and, in concert with him and in the name of the Government of the United States, to request the President of the Permanent Administrative Council of the Hague Tribunal described in article 49 of the convention for the pacific settlement of international disputes, concluded at The Hague, October 18, 1907,56 to designate the third member of the General and Special Claims Commissions, which were constituted pursuant to the two claims conventions between [Page 339]the United States and Mexico signed September 8, 1923, and September 10, 1923.57

The United States and Mexico have agreed that the same person shall serve as the third member of each of the two Commissions. You should make this fact clear to the President of the Permanent Administrative Council.

You may find the following information of assistance in discussing the matter: Hearings before the two Commissions will be held in Washington and Mexico and will probably occupy the greater part of each year of the Commission’s duration. Transportation expenses to and from his home will be allowed the Commissioner, and in addition he will receive a suitable annual honorarium, which in the case of each of the former incumbents was $15,000. In view of the combination of the two positions the United States would be willing to increase that figure materially. There is no reason to believe that Mexico would object to such an increase. In addition, the Commissioner will be entitled to a per diem allowance of $15 in lieu of subsistence during his absence from his home on business of the Commission. The United States would be pleased to have the new Commissioner assume office this spring since it is desirable that the work of the Commission be resumed as promptly as possible.

Please telegraph the Department regarding any action taken by you pursuant to this instruction, and, as soon as the President of the Permanent Administrative Council shall have designated a person, telegraph his name, together with a biographical sketch suitable for release to the press. The announcement of the person designated should be made by the two interested Governments, rather than at The Hague.

It is the understanding of the Department that the Government of Mexico has cabled, or will cable, appropriate instructions in the premises to your Mexican colleague.