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

No. 79

Sir: The Department has received your despatch No. 67, December 22, 1930, requesting to be given an exact indication of the representations which the Department desires made to the Mexican Foreign Office concerning the action of the Military Prosecutor at Guaymas, Sondra, in ordering the American Vice Consul at that place to give testimony in a hearing conducted by the Prosecutor November 5, 1930.

It is desired that the representations take the following form:

My Government has been advised by the American Vice Consul in charge at Guaymas, Sonora, that November 4, 1930, he was ordered to appear November 5, 1930, before General Jesús Torres Avilés, Military Prosecutor in that city, in connection with an investigation being made with regard to activities of General Pascual Gónzalez during the revolutionary demonstrations which occurred in the spring of 1929, and that the Vice Consul appeared before the Military Prosecutor and gave certain testimony based on official information contained [Page 706]in the files of the Consulate, which information, of course, is the exclusive property of my Government.

In view of the circumstances of this case involving as it did a Mexican political matter, and the disclosure of information from the files of the Consulate, my Government is of the opinion that the practice which prevails generally among nations would have indicated that the Prosecutor should have extended to the Vice Consul an invitation in writing to give testimony, containing a statement as to the purpose of the inquiry and setting forth a date on which the testimony could have been given sufficiently remote so as to afford opportunity for the Vice Consul to have consulted his Government in the premises. In this relation it may be stated that I am informed that if my Government had been so consulted in the instant case, it would in all likelihood have given favorable consideration to the request and authorized the Vice Consul to testify.

My Government recognizes that the action taken in this matter was that of a subordinate military authority, but considers that it should bring the matter to the attention of the Mexican Government.

Very truly yours,

Henry L. Stimson