The Acting Secretary of State to the Chargé in Mexico ( Boal )
114. Your 105, June 23, 1 p.m. and despatch 3701, June 19. Department considers procedure outlined in instruction 1109, May 29, preferable to that suggested in enclosure to Foreign Office’s note of June 18. The latter procedure is objectionable for the following reasons.
- An agreement by the two Agents as to the interpretation of Article VIII of the Convention of September 8, 1923, would not have [Page 745] the effect of barring claims filed with the Commission which have not been “heard and decided” since it is not within the province of the Agents to bar claims by an interpretative agreement.
- Such claims can be barred only in the manner prescribed by Article VIII, that is to say by having them heard and decided by the Commission.
- The Commission’s jurisdiction is limited to hearing and deciding cases submitted to it. It is not within its province to bar claims by ratifying an agreement to that effect between the two Agents.
- The Department considers that no agreement of lesser solemnity than the Convention of 1923 (which on the part of the United States would require approval of the Senate) can have the effect of barring claims filed which have not been heard and decided.
- For the foregoing reasons it is to be hoped that the Mexican Government will agree to cover such claims in an omnibus memorial as suggested in instruction 1109 of May 29 so that the Commission may hear and decide them, which would mean that they would necessarily dismiss them, barring them from any further consideration.
- The Mexican Government, of course, appreciates that if action along these lines is to be taken, decision must be made promptly.
Take up matter immediately and report results promptly by cable.