551.5F1/183: Telegram

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


370. Embassy’s 363, October 23, 6 p.m.; 366, October 24, 5 p.m.59

This afternoon, I conferred with Montes de Oca, the Finance Minister. It seems that Calles himself was vague upon certain aspects of the silver conference proposal and had requested him to have me clarify them.
I reviewed for him the points which I had discussed with the General.
His greatest concern was lest the Governments which are invited should decline. Great Britain was uppermost in his mind because of the confused political situation there. My impression is that the Mexican Government would feel that it had lost prestige if a major power should not accept the invitation.
The most to be expected from an initial conference was an exchange of views, a point which I had sought to impress upon General Calles (see my 366, October 24, 5 p.m.). Montes de Oca seemingly concurred.
Pursuing this thought further, I ventured to say that the United States could not specifically instruct a delegation unless the entire international situation had been previously surveyed in a world conference. Again, the Minister was apparently in agreement.
At the outset, Montes de Oca maintained that the agenda should be outlined in detail prior to the conference. I reiterated my lack of information and instructions on this matter. Nevertheless, in view of what we had just considered in the 4th and 5th paragraphs above, I referred to the difficulty of establishing a specific formula to solve the problem in pre-conference discussions. This observation, too, presumably met with his approval. Moreover, he foresaw the possibility of more than one conference before the attainment of positive results.
I gained the impression that there was a disposition on the part of the Mexican Government to call a conference even though an immediate solution appeared unlikely. The Minister’s only qualm was over the acceptance of the invitation (3d paragraph above).
The morning newspapers carried a story on the proposal of Senator King of Utah for a Pan American conference on the silver question. Montes de Oca felt that the issue could not be adequately treated at a regional meeting. I, too, expressed my doubts.
I reminded the Minister that in presenting my views I was un-instructed and unaware of the official American attitude.
We will confer again whenever there is anything for me to communicate.
  1. Latter not printed.