812.52 Agrarian Commission/154

Memorandum of Conversation, by the Under Secretary of State (Welles)

The Mexican Ambassador called to see me today upon his return from Mexico. The Ambassador stated that President Cárdenas was very anxious to reach a prompt agreement on the agrarian claims. He urged that Commissioner Lawson be instructed to talk to Commissioner Serrano regarding the valuation placed by the American Government on the American agrarian claims and assured me that Serrano would be authorized to discuss immediately the reaching of an agreement for a global settlement without controversial discussion as to the various categories of the claims in question. The Ambassador said that the one difficulty was the fact that General Hay14 was insisting that the conversations should take place in Mexico City in accordance with protocol and not in El Paso as suggested by this Government for reasons of convenience. I said it seemed to me that this was an unrealistic approach to the problem and that I earnestly hoped that since Serrano and Lawson were both in El Paso, the latter would be authorized to talk immediately with Lawson without bringing up the question of whether these conversations should take place in one spot or another. I said that if General Hay felt so strongly about the technical side of the question of the seat of the conversations, it would easily be possible for reasons of formality, if and when an agreement was reached, to have the final and concluding conversation take place in Mexico City. I said that I would be very glad to see that word was sent to Commissioner Lawson to undertake the conversations promptly with Commissioner Serrano.

S[umner] W[elles]
  1. Eduardo Hay, Mexican Minister for Foreign Affairs.