The Chargé in Mexico (Boal) to the Secretary of State

No. 5056

Sir: I have the honor to refer to the fact that in certain agrarian cases the prospects of assisting American landowners appear to be [Page 609] more favorable if such cases are taken up with the Agrarian Department direct, rather than “through channels” (i. e.—the Foreign Office).

In cases where the results obtained from the Agrarian Department are not satisfactory (as for example that of Mrs. Mae Dunne Narró—despatch No. 5045 of July 15, 193715), the question arises of whether any claims or other rights of the affected landowners are prejudiced by our not having dealt with cases through the Foreign Office or by our failing, after having been unsuccessful in the dealings with the Agrarian Department, to report the circumstances to the Foreign Office.

We have made limited progress in the direct handling of several cases and have some hope of achieving at least amelioration in specific instances. Consequently, we are reluctant to abandon this method of dealing with certain agrarian cases. It is thought possible, however, that if it is necessary, in order to protect the rights of affected American landowners, to inform the Foreign Office of the details of cases not susceptible of solution at the Agrarian Department, the Foreign Office may well raise objection to any direct relations between the Embassy and the Foreign Office [Agrarian Department].

The Department is respectfully requested to instruct the Embassy (1) as to whether the possible eventual espousal and prosecution of the claims of American citizens whose lands have been expropriated would be prejudiced in instances where the cases had not been taken up through the Foreign Office but had been discussed direct with the Agrarian Department; and (2) as to whether, in the absence of an agreement by landowners not to present any claims, the claims or other rights of such landowners are prejudiced by the working out of a compromise agreement through the Embassy and the Agrarian Department respecting the “localization” of a “dotation” or “restitution” of lands from their properties.

Respectfully yours,

Pierre de L. Boal
  1. Not printed.