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

No. 7

Sir: The Department encloses herewith a copy of a despatch dated November 8, 1930, from Vice Consul A. F. Yepis at Guaymas, Mexico, reporting that on November 4, 1930, his Consulate received an order directing the American consular officer in chargé at Guaymas to appear on November 5, 1930, 11 a.m., before General Jesús Torres Avilés, Military Prosecutor, to give testimony at an investigation which he was conducting of alleged activities of General Pascual Gónzalez during the insurrection of March and April of last year. You will note that the Vice Consul appeared before the Military Prosecutor and gave certain testimony based upon official information contained in the Consulate’s files, which information is the exclusive property of this Government.

In view of the facts as reported by the Vice Consul, the Department desires that you bring this matter to the attention of the Mexican Foreign Office and say that, while your Government recognizes that responsibility for the action taken rests with a subordinate military authority, it considers that it should remind the Mexican Government that, under generally recognized practice as between nations, when the testimony of a consular officer is desired and particularly in respect of political matters, the proper course would seem to be for the appropriate official to extend to the designated consular officer a written invitation to give testimony, setting forth therein the date and purpose of the inquiry. Furthermore, you will state that the Vice Consul should have been given sufficient notice in advance to permit him to consult his Government in the premises, assuring the Foreign Office that if the Department had been so consulted it would in all likelihood have given favorable consideration to the wishes of the Mexican Government and authorized the Vice Consul to give testimony at the Consulate.

A copy of this instruction is being sent to the Vice Consul at Guaymas for his information.

Very truly yours,

For the Secretary of State:
J. P. Cotton