The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Mexico ( Daniels )
90. Your strictly confidential despatch No. 4643 of April 30.13 The Department agrees that the Embassy is advocating a method of procedure [Page 608] calculated at present to produce more effective results by endeavoring to discuss agrarian cases with the Mexican Government before they reach an acute stage in the hope that the Mexican Government will find methods of adjustment with the American owners of the property, so that solutions acceptable to the owners may be reached. You may advise the Mexican authorities accordingly, referring specifically in this relation to the cases of the Colorado River Land Company and the Yaqui Valley landholders as among those which it would appear entirely possible and highly desirable from the standpoint of both Governments to adjust amicably. As corollary to the suggested procedure, you may express the hope that Mexico will in future cases defer placing agrarians in possession of American owned properties pending discussion with the interested persons and the exhaustion of efforts to achieve a mutually satisfactory settlement. You should make it clear, however, that if this suggested procedure is adopted this Government must necessarily retain full liberty of action with respect to the possible presentation or support of claims of American nationals for proper indemnification in the event that the latter are unable or unwilling to agree to a settlement as a result of direct discussions or in the event that no discussions take place.
With respect to proposals that have been submitted to the Mexican authorities by the landowners in the Yaqui Valley or that may be presented by other American citizens whose lands are threatened with expropriation, the Embassy should understand that this Government cannot undertake to pass on the merits of such proposals or to endeavor to induce their acceptance either by the Mexican Government on the one hand or by individual American landowners who may represent a minority opinion on the other. However, it is believed that with respect to such proposals, when they appear to the Embassy to be fair, the Embassy would be warranted in endeavoring to bring about promptly meetings between the proponents and the appropriate Mexican officials whereat such proposals may be presented and thoroughly discussed, and furthermore that, while the Embassy should not put itself in the position of endorsing proposals, even though apparently worthy, it might well request early and careful consideration thereof.
- Not printed.↩