The American Commissioner, International Boundary Commission, United States and Mexico ( Lawson ), to the Secretary of State

Sir: With reference to code message of September tenth at two p.m. thru American Consul at Juarez, and to the receipt by this office on September twelfth from American Embassy at Mexico City, of a draft of a Boundary Commission minute66 prepared by the Foreign [Page 558] Relations Department of Mexico; the American boundary commissioner in conformance with his instructions, conferred a number of times with Mexican Commissioner Serrano on the subject of the draft of minute referred to above.

At these conferences it was a concurrence of opinion of the two commissioners that the question of the form of agreement is one to be developed and finally passed upon by the two Departments. The commissioners also agreed that the actual work would be facilitated and more unhampered by the construction by Mexico of the levee system on the Mexican side beginning at Juarez and extending down stream a distance, the extent of which would be determined by the funds available under the proration.

Relative to the location of the rectified channel and boundary—whether it should be on the international boundary line south of the island or on the present river location north of the island—attention is called to the fact that the consulting engineers’ report accompanying Minute No. 12967 showed as an exhibit alternate locations. The Commissioners’ report in Minute No. 129 states that the rectification will follow and straighten the present river location. If the negotiations finally include the exchange of area for the Cordova tract, and the settlement of the Chamizal question, and the practical result is obtained “That all lands to the north of the rectified channel are to [be] American territory and all lands to the south are to be Mexican territory,” then it is entirely proper to consider the location of the rectified channel on the boundary line at San Elezario Island. Apparently there is no reason to inject the question of the removal of the river from its present location to the boundary line south of San Elezario unless the questions of the transfer of Cordova and settlement of Chamizal are included.

In discussions with Mexican Commissioner Serrano concerning the development of draft of a final agreement which would receive approval of both countries the American Commissioner agreed with him in the belief that much time and possibly some effort can be saved by arranging a conference at which representatives of the State Department and of the Foreign Relations Department of Mexico can act with the commissioners in reaching some final agreement. The Mexican commissioner suggests that this should be in Mexico City.

Awaiting further instructions, I am [etc.]

L. M. Lawson
  1. Ante, p. 555.
  2. Ante, p. 545.