710.G 1A/229

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

Dear Mr. Secretary: Upon receipt of your telegram No. 137, September 29th [28th], I called on the Minister for Foreign Affairs and asked him direct two questions:

1. Whether it was the purpose of Mexico and other governments to press for an extension of the Agenda of the Montevideo Conference to include a discussion of revision of external governmental indebtedness.

He replied that when he told me yesterday that he wished to see me again shortly, it was with the view to present his views at length upon this matter. He said: “We are arm in arm with Secretary Hull in wishing to secure through impartial mediators some moratorium of the indebtedness”. He added, “Most of the countries cannot pay”. He says his present idea would be not to act through a convention but by resolution. He spoke for some minutes along this line showing that he is giving the matter serious thought and that it is near his heart. He still hopes his proposition will be included in the Agenda of the Pan American Conference Committee. If it is not included, he says Mexico will later decide upon its action. He did not say this action would be taken after sounding out other countries, but I take it that your information along that line is probably correct.

2. Whether Mexico and other countries were considering placing on the Agenda possible modification of the Monroe Doctrine to exclude not only European but also American intervention in the affairs of any of the American countries.

He did not directly answer the question but entered upon a serious discussion of the place the Monroe Doctrine should hold to-day. He said that when enunciated it was a noble and generous doctrine that looked to prevent European countries from dominating countries on [Page 19] this hemisphere. It should now, according to his thinking, be made continental and also include Asia, Africa as well as Europe, and all countries on this hemisphere. He quoted the recent expression of Senator Pittman that the Monroe Doctrine had served its purpose and did not now have application. Dr. Puig said that when Mexico entered the League of Nations, it did so with a reservation as to the Monroe Doctrine and that recently Argentina had made a more far reaching reservation.

“I think”, he said, “that to remove all suspicions and make all Americans rally to the Monroe Doctrine, it should be made clear that no nation should intervene in the affairs of any other nation”. He enlarged upon that thought and said that since the Kellogg-Briand Treaty25 all the nations had pledged themselves to outlaw war and, therefore, it should be made clear on this hemisphere, as well as for Europeans, that no nation should intervene in the affairs of another nation.

He contended that no definite policy of action as to either of these matters had been decided upon by the Mexican authorities. However, it is clear that Dr. Puig strongly believes some moratorium is essential, either by the method you propose or by resolution of the Montevideo Conference, and that the Monroe Doctrine as to intervention should apply to every country on this continent as well as to European nations.

Before Dr. Puig leaves I expect to solicit a fuller expression of his views and will be glad to have further instructions from the Department.

Sincerely yours,

Josephus Daniels