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

No. 6029

Sir: I have the honor to refer to the Department’s Telegram No. 15, of January 21st/6 p.m., 1938,7 and to report that at the time of its receipt arrangements had already been made for an interview between Licenciado Beteta, Undersecretary for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Boal, Counselor of the Embassy, and Mr. Stocker, representative of the American landowners in the Yaqui Valley, to discuss Yaqui Valley projects. In connection therewith, there is enclosed herewith a Memorandum7 of the conversation which took place on this subject on January 22, 1938.

Licenciado Beteta now proposes to take up with President Cárdenas as soon as he returns from Orizaba the question of how to adjust the water situation in order to fulfill the Mexican Government’s commitments, and of the possible purchase of the areas of land in the Yaqui Valley which are to be given American landowners in compensation for land dotated.

Licenciado Beteta, of course, was unable to say what the President’s decision would be on either of these matters. He intended, however, to urge strongly upon him the advantages of following his suggestion, as outlined in the enclosed Memorandum on both. He is quite aware that the steps taken in the Yaqui Valley in regard to providing water to small properties of American landowners do not correspond to the commitments given in the Mexican Government’s communications on the subject, and appears particularly anxious to solve these questions in accordance with their commitments. He realizes that the Mexican Government’s offer of free irrigation to the landowners was on the understanding that it was on this basis that they were being allowed [Page 661] only 100 hectares of irrigated land instead of 300 hectares of unirrigated land for which they could legally have made application, and that now in fact to deny them this free irrigation and yet hold to the position that they were only entitled to 100 hectares apiece of land as small properties would place the Mexican Government in a very unfavorable light.

I will report further to the Department on this subject as soon as Licenciado Beteta has apprised me of the outcome of his discussions with President Cárdenas.

There is also enclosed a copy8 of a circular on the water question, which has been given to American landowners in the Yaqui Valley, the terms of which are obviously at variance with Licenciado Beteta’s communication to me of October 29, 1937, enclosed to the Department with this Embassy’s Despatch No. 5616 of November 2, 1937.9

I also enclose a copy of a letter addressed to Licenciado Beteta on January 24, 1938, by the Counselor of the Embassy, and copies of two memoranda delivered to him this morning by Mr. Boal.10

Respectfully yours,

Josephus Daniels
  1. Not printed.
  2. Not printed.
  3. Not printed.
  4. Foreign Relations, 1937, vol. v, p. 624.
  5. None printed.