Statement for the Press by the Secretary of State

In response to inquiries at his Press Conference today the Secretary of State said:

“During the past few years the Mexican Government in pursuance of its national policy has expropriated and is continuing to expropriate the properties of citizens of other countries in Mexico and of its own citizens. Among these have been many hundreds of farms and other properties of American citizens. Many of our nationals have invested their savings in these properties, have undertaken improvements therein of various kinds and have been dependent upon them for their own livelihood. This Government has not undertaken and does not undertake to question the right of the Government of Mexico in the exercise of its sovereign power to expropriate properties within its jurisdiction. This Government has, however, on numerous occasions and in the most friendly manner pointed out to the Government of Mexico that in accordance with every principle of international law, of comity between nations and of equity, the properties of its nationals so expropriated are required to be paid for by compensation representing fair, assured and effective value to the nationals from whom these properties were taken. The recent expropriation by the Mexican Government of oil properties belonging to American citizens is therefore but one incident in a long series of incidents of this character and accordingly raises no new question. The subject now under consideration between the Government of the United States and the Government of Mexico is the matter of compensation for various properties of American citizens expropriated in the past few years. It is my very earnest hope that because of the very friendly relations existing between the two Governments a fair and equitable solution of this problem may soon be found by the Mexican Government.”