Memorandum by the Chief of the Division of Mexican Affairs (Lane) of a Conversation With the Second Secretary of the Mexican Embassy (Padillo Nervo), August 16, 1929

Mr. Padillo Nervo called this afternoon at 3:30 and presented the Ambassador’s note of August 16th in which the Ambassador states that he has received instructions to sign the Convention for the extension of the Special Claims Convention on the understanding that the United States Government is disposed to continue negotiating in a spirit of good will as soon as the extended Convention is concluded regarding six points contained in that note. Mr. Padillo Nervo inquired whether we would reply to this note prior to the signature of the Convention. I told Mr. Padillo Nervo that both the Secretary and the Under Secretary had left the City and that I had no authority to commit the Department. My personal opinion was, however, that there would be no objection to our agreeing to discuss the points raised. I pointed out that in Mr. Morrow’s telegram No. 312 of August 15, 6 p.m. (penultimate paragraph on page 2) the following statement appears:

“I understood Estrada’s position to be that the signing of the extending convention was not conditioned upon our agreeing to these three matters but that he desired to present them and if possible secure an understanding covering them.”

I told Mr. Nervo that I had read this paragraph to Ambassador Tellez this morning and I allowed Mr. Nervo to read it. I said that the three matters referred to were:

Place of signing.
Place of future meetings.
Choice of presiding Commissioner.

Points 1 and 2 had already been taken care of: the Convention would be signed in Washington, tomorrow; I had orally assured Ambassador Tellez yesterday, and the Embassy in Mexico City had assured Mr. Estrada, that we were entirely agreeable that future meetings of the Special Commission should be held in Mexico City. With regard to the third point, we still felt that the matter of choice of presiding Commissioner should not be discussed until after the extending Convention was in effect. I said however that we were prepared to discuss this matter in good will and we trusted that a satisfactory arrangement might be arrived at.

I observed however that in the Ambassador’s note, six points instead of three were brought up. Mr. Nervo confirmed Mr. Morrow’s understanding of the Mexican Government’s position by saying that Ambassador Tellez did not consider that the signature of the Convention [Page 451] extending the Special Claims Commission was conditional on agreement on these six points.

A[rthur] B[liss] L[ane]