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

No. 1189

Sir: The receipt is acknowledged of your despatch No. 3765 of July 14, 1936, with which you forwarded a copy and translation of a note from the Mexican Foreign Office of July 8, 1936, further dealing [Page 769] with the reservation made in your Embassy’s note of March 7, 1936, of all rights as to the effects upon American commerce from enforcement of the decree of the President of Mexico assuming to expand the breadth of Mexican territorial waters.

So far as concerns the bearing upon this matter of the provisions of Article V of the treaty of February 2, 1848, between the United States and Mexico, the Department reiterates the views expressed in its instruction No. 1110 of May 23, 1936, which were communicated to the Foreign Office in your Embassy’s note of June 3, 1936.

It is noted that the Foreign Office expresses the view that there exists among the nations no fixed rule for determining the extent of the territorial sea. However this may be (and this Government must not be understood as admitting that there is no such rule) it seems to be established that, generally speaking, the principal maritime powers have adopted the three-mile limit.

It is desired that you bring the foregoing to the attention of the Foreign Office and that you reiterate the reservation above mentioned, stating expressly that your action is taken not with a view to prolonging the argument with the Mexican Government but merely to make it clear that the Government of the United States is unable to accept the conclusions of the Mexican Government as set forth in the latter’s note of July 8, 1936.

Very truly yours,

For the Secretary of State:
R. Walton Moore