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

No. 2741

Sir: I have the honor to refer to the Department’s telegram No. 182 of July 17, 1930, 2 PM, authorizing me, inter alia, to initiate the negotiations for an en bloc settlement of claims between the United States and Mexico.

On September 2nd, I called on the Minister for Foreign Affairs and informed him that while I would be in Mexico City only two more weeks, I was willing to do whatever I could in the initiation of en bloc settlement negotiations. I suggested that perhaps it would be best for the Mexican Government to initiate the conversations rather than for us to do so. Mr. Estrada did not answer this suggestion directly.

I then asked Mr. Estrada’s opinion as to the steps he thought could best be taken to bring about an en bloc settlement. He replied that informal conversations could begin at any time between the Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Finance and, say, two experts, one on claims and the other on finance, on behalf of the Mexican Government, and, on behalf of the United States, such persons as might be indicated to deal with the Mexican representatives by the Embassy or the Department.

I explained to Mr. Estrada that both the Minister of Finance, Mr. Montes de Oca, and I had, during the past three years, been in accord that an en bloc settlement would be advantageous, but that we had not proceeded to a particular discussion of such a settlement heretofore because of other pending financial problems of the Mexican Government, notably the clearing up of current debt obligations.

I informed Mr. Estrada that I would discuss the matter with Mr. Lane, the Counselor of the Embassy, who would be Chargé d’Affaires after my departure and who would, consequently, have to carry out any informal conversations which might be initiated, and suggested that Mr. Lane might discuss the matter with Mr. Estrada.

Respectfully yours,

Dwight W. Morrow