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

No. 3233

Sir: I have the honor to refer to my air mail despatch No. 3232 of January 21, 1936, reporting my conversation with Mr. Sierra on the subject of the agrarian claims filed with the General Claims Commission.

This morning I called on General Hay, Minister for Foreign Affairs, and, referring to my conversation with Mr. Sierra, asked him when I might expect an answer to my letter of November 22, 193557 submitting our last draft of the proposed agrarian claims protocol. (Despatch No. 3083 of November 27, 1935).58

The Minister replied that he had gone into the matter at considerable length with Mr. Sierra the night before when Mr. Sierra had shown him the memorandum I had left with him, a copy of which was [Page 755] forwarded to the Department with my despatch above referred to. He said that he had been in office such a short time and the matter was so very complicated that it would be quite impossible for him to come to a decision before February first.

I told General Hay that the question of agrarian claims was one of very great importance and urged him to take a day off to study the matter so that, if an agreement could be reached, it might be done before the first of February, because, as I had already told Mr. Sierra, in view of the short time remaining for the filing of memorials under the Protocol of 1934 the American Agent would have to begin filing them on the first of February if no agreement could be reached by that time.

In spite of my further insistence that every effort be made by the Mexican Government to reach a decision by February first, General Hay repeated that this would be absolutely impossible and that, because of the seriousness of the matter, he would have to take ample time to study the various questions involved and could give me no indication when an answer to my letter of November 22 might be expected.

I shall, of course, continue to keep the matter actively before the Foreign Office, but in view of my conversation with the Foreign Minister this morning I can hold out no hope of reaching an agreement before February first.

Respectfully yours,

Josephus Daniels