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

No. 2756

Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of the Department’s instruction 797 of July 15, 1935, relative to the problem of interference in certain amateur frequency bands. The Department’s instruction under reference crossed the Embassy’s despatch 2727 of July 1576 reporting a new distribution of frequencies in Mexico for amateur radiotelephony and radiotelegraphy.

The situation which has developed subsequent to the Department’s first instruction of February 2, 1935, was briefly referred to in my despatch number 2441 of April 10. The action reported at that time was taken without consulting interested Mexican amateurs, but as soon as the news was out they protested vigorously to the Department of Communications, which, to divert criticism from itself, said it was acting at the request of the United States Government. This seemed to many Mexican amateurs an unwarranted interference on our part and was promptly resented. At a special meeting of amateurs, the United States, I am informed, was roundly denounced for its action and a committee was appointed to negotiate with the Mexican authorities for a return to the previously prevailing distribution. I understand that in their talks with the Communications authorities the amateurs particularly resented any attempt to remove the 7000–7300 KC. band from radiotelephone operation. These frequencies, they said, were not needed for communication with the United States, but were essential for maintaining contacts with other Spanish-speaking countries of Latin America, which permitted radiotelephone operation on this band of frequencies. They asserted, moreover, that this move on the part of the American authorities to take radiotelephone operation out of the 40–meter band was inspired by the American radiotelegraph operators, who controlled amateur forces in the United States and who were using the American Government in their own interests, to the detriment of the Mexican amateurs. In the face of these energetic and forceful representations by Mexican amateurs, it is not surprising that the Communications Department reversed its earlier [Page 813] position and agreed to a new distribution more acceptable to the Mexican amateurs. (See despatch number 2727 of July 15.77)

While I believe that the Mexican Communications Department was originally disposed to coöperate in a measure with our suggestion, doubts now arise, in view of the criticism which it has had to face, if further insistence on our part will have any very tangible results. The recent schedule represents a working compromise between Mexican amateurs and the Communications Department, and further demands on our part would most probably serve to revive the antagonism so quickly aroused on the occasion of our original approach. In other words, it is our belief that the Mexican authorities have reached the limit of their desire to coöperate with us voluntarily in this matter, and accordingly I have not renewed my representations to the Mexican authorities, feeling that the Department should first have before it all the facts on which to base a decision.

Respectfully yours,

Josephus Daniels
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