412.11 (41) Agreement/12

Memorandum of Conversation, by the Chief of the Division of the American Republics (Duggan)

Participants: Ambassador of Mexico
Señor Espinosa de los Monteros, Mexican Representative on the Washington Economic Committee
Mr. Welles
Mr. Duggan

The Under Secretary stated that as he had informed the Ambassador at a luncheon several days ago, he thought the time had now come for Mexico and the United States to make an urgent and determined effort to arrive at a solution of the principal problems that stood in the way of the improvement of relations between the two countries. Mr. Welles asked the Ambassador how the idea appealed to him of pooling the principal problems and endeavoring to come to some over-all arrangement regarding them.

The Ambassador said that this approach appealed to him and he could assure Mr. Welles that he would give the maximum of his personal effort to bring about a successful arrangement.

Mr. Welles then stated that he believed frankness compelled him to state that it would be utterly impossible for this Government to enter into any such arrangement as they were now talking about without positive assurance that there would be no further expropriations without compensation. This Government therefore would be obliged to require a written assurance that could be made public to the effect that the Mexican Government did not intend to make further expropriations of American-owned properties in Mexico.

The Ambassador stated that he understood the position of this Government but that of course he would have to present the matter to his Government and to the President elect. The Ambassador stated that since it would be the new administration that would carry out any arrangement that might be entered into it would be necessary to consult the President elect. He inquired whether it would be possible to agree in writing upon a framework of an agreement which he could then take with him to Mexico as the basis for discussions with President Cárdenas and General Avila Camacho.

Mr. Welles said that he thought that would be a good procedure provided that it was understood on both sides that neither Government had entered into any commitment so that the memorandum would merely represent a personal effort of officials in both Governments to find some basis for a solution.

The Ambassador said that there was a certain amount of technical information he desired. He inquired whether Señor Espinosa de los [Page 1045] Monteros might not go over these matters with Mr. Duggan. Mr. Welles indicated that this arrangement would be satisfactory to him.

It was agreed that Señor Espinosa de los Monteros would meet with Mr. Duggan on Tuesday afternoon and that Mr. Welles would again see the Ambassador and Señor Espinosa de los Monteros on Wednesday afternoon.