The Secretary of State to the Vice Consul at Guaymas ( Yepis )

Sir: The Department has received your despatch No. 310, of February 18, 1937,5 regarding the agrarian problem in the Yaqui Valley, in which you quote the text of a letter dated February 17, 1937, from Mr. John D. Stocker, representative of the American landowners in the Yaqui Valley, together with the pertinent portion of your reply to Mr. Stacker’s communication. It appears that the American landowners have suggested that the Department should request the Mexican Government to make known its intentions with reference to possible expropriation of American-owned lands in the Yaqui Valley before making any definite resolution in the matter.

In view of the fact that the matter has been the subject of discussions between the Department’s representatives and officials of the Mexican Government, the Department is reluctant to believe that that Government would take definitive action looking to the expropriation of the lands in question without giving the Department’s representatives previous notice of its intentions in that respect. However, it should be understood that the Department cannot assume the responsibility that would be entailed by its giving the American landowners a definite assurance that they will be advised in advance of any such action as may be contemplated.

[Page 604]

You are authorized to convey the substance of the foregoing to Mr. Stocker in reply to his letter of February 17, 1937.

Very truly yours,

For the Secretary of State:
Sumner Welles
  1. Not printed.