The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Mexico (Morrow)
443. Referring to telephone conversation with Mr. Clark yesterday following points were discussed this morning with Mexican Ambassador:
1. Tellez was informed that we are entirely agreeable that future sessions of Special Claims Commission be held in Mexico City.
2. Ambassador stated that his instructions were to the effect that Special Convention should be signed at Washington. He was advised that our information from Mexico City indicated that Mexican Government desired Convention to be signed in Mexico City but that we were willing to sign either or both Conventions at such place as the Mexican Government desired. The Ambassador was asked to ascertain definitely what the wishes of his Government are on this point.
3. Ambassador stated that his Government desired that the third Commissioner be appointed in accordance with the procedure provided for by the Treaty of Inter-American Arbitration. (Presumably Article 3 which provides as follows:
“Each Party shall nominate two arbitrators, of whom only one may be a national of said Party or selected from the persons whom said Party has designated as members of the Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague. The other member may be of any other American nationality. These arbitrators shall in turn select a fifth arbitrator who shall be the president of the court.[Page 448]
“Should the arbitrators be unable to reach an agreement among themselves for the selection of a fifth American arbitrator, or in lieu thereof, of another who is not, each Party shall designate a non-American member of the permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague, and the two persons so designated shall select the fifth arbitrator, who may be of any nationality other than that of a Party to the dispute.”)
Tellez was advised that we would be glad to take this up in due course, but that we would like to have the Convention signed first. This matter is therefore still in abeyance.
4. Mexican Ambassador was informed that we would be glad to instruct our Agent with regard to the continuance of the work of the Agency in accordance with the suggestion made to you by Estrada. (See paragraph 1, your No. 306, August 6, 7 p.m.)
5. Tellez said that Mr. Estrada put great stress on reaching an agreement that the Special Commission should not discuss matters of “domestic jurisdiction”, as provided by the Pan American Treaty of Arbitration. (Presumably he refers to that part of Article 2 of the General Treaty of Inter-American Arbitration signed in Washington, January 5, 1929, providing as follows:
“There are excepted from the stipulations of this treaty the following controversies: (a) Those which are within the domestic jurisdiction of any of the Parties to the dispute and are not controlled by international law”.[)]
Tellez was informed that we considered that this was merely making it more difficult to sign the Convention prior to the date of its expiration and that this Government considered it highly important to extend the Conventions prior to expiration. He said that the Mexican Government did not appear to perceive any necessity of signing prior to August 18th.
The Ambassador said that his Government hoped that points covered in paragraphs one, three and five would be included in notes to be exchanged simultaneously with or prior to signing of Convention. He expressed the hope also that we would agree in this exchange of notes to list claims in accordance with the procedure obtaining under our Claims Convention with Great Britain.18
Tellez said that he would telephone Estrada today and would inform us as to the views of his Government. Tellez replied in answer to a question on the subject, that Special Claims Convention would be negotiated independently of General Claims Convention. Consequently the Special Claims Convention could be signed without waiting for the approval of the President of Mexico to the proposed note contained in paragraph two of your No. 306, August 6, 7 p.m. (See your No. 310, August 13, 6 p.m.)[Page 449]
The Department has been and is doing everything possible to conclude Convention extending Special Claims Convention prior to its expiration.
The Department will communicate further with you on receipt of further advice from Mexican Ambassador. You may in the meantime desire to discuss matter further with Estrada with a view to reaching agreement.