The Under Secretary of State (Welles) to the Mexican Ambassador (Castillo Nájera)

My Dear Ambassador: In view of the situation which has arisen as a result of the expropriation by the Mexican Government of properties belonging to United States nationals located within the Republic of Mexico, and as a result of the exchange of views with regard thereto which has taken place between our two Governments, and of the assurances given by the Government of Mexico that it desired to offer compensation for these properties expropriated, I have expressed to Your Excellency in the course of the conversations I have had the pleasure of having with you since your recent return from Mexico City the very earnest hope of this Government that some concrete proposals for compensation might be advanced by the Government of Mexico at a very early date in amplification of the general proposals contained in the memorandum submitted to Ambassador Daniels on April 19.18

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You have been good enough to inform me that your Government desired to offer such proposals and would probably be in a position to do so in the immediate future. May I take this opportunity of expressing again my very earnest hope that this step may be taken without further delay.

With regard to the question of compensation for the agrarian properties belonging to United States nationals expropriated by the Mexican Government, this Government would be very glad to receive the proposals as to compensation which your Government may be prepared to make.

With regard to the expropriation of the properties of American oil companies located within Mexico, I feel I should make it quite clear that this Government, as stated in its previous communications to the Mexican Government, is not proposing to act finally on behalf of these companies. In view of the fact, however, that it is advised that no negotiations are in progress at this time between the Government of Mexico and the American interests referred to, it will, without waiving any of their legal rights, be willing to receive any concrete proposal advanced by the Mexican Government which may indicate the precise manner in which the Government of Mexico proposes to make adequate and effective compensation to these companies for their properties expropriated, and to refer any proposal offered by the Mexican Government of the character indicated to these American interests for their consideration.

With regard to the question of the large group of unadjudicated American claims, composed of agrarian and other claims under the General Claims Convention,19 it is also my earnest hope that the Mexican Government will authorize Doctor Roberto Córdova20 to negotiate a settlement of these claims under the terms of the protocol of 193421 at a very early date.

I am sure that Your Excellency will agree with me when I express the belief that the very friendly relations existing between our two Governments will be strengthened, and the best interests of the peoples of our two countries will be advanced if an equitable solution of the problems above mentioned, satisfactory both to the Government of Mexico and to the American nationals concerned, may be found in the immediate future.

Believe me [etc.]

Sumner Welles
  1. Not printed.
  2. Signed September 8, 1923, Foreign Relations, 1923, vol. ii, p. 555.
  3. Former Mexican Agent, General Claims Commission, and Legal Counsel of the Mexican Embassy from February 1938.
  4. Signed April 24, 1934, Foreign Relations, 1934, vol. v, p. 470.