412.11 (41) Agreement/20

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

Participants: Sumner Welles, Under Secretary of State,
Señor Dr. Don Francisco Castillo Nájera, Ambassador of Mexico,
Green H. Hackworth, Legal Adviser,
Señor Dr. Don Roberto Córdova, Mexican Embassy,
Herbert S. Bursley, Division of the American Republics.

The Mexican Ambassador said that he had sent to President Cárdenas a memorandum of the conversation of November 11. In reply President Cárdenas had said that in order to make the claims settlement create as little difficulty as possible in Mexico, it would be desirable if announcement could be made at the same time of the settlement of other matters, or at least of those relating to stabilization, silver, road financing, and the trade agreement. Mr. Welles said that he had forgotten that the memorandum given to the Mexican Ambassador [Page 1056] on October 7 did provide for several stages in the proceedings but that it was really his intention and had been such that agreement on all of the points be announced at the same time. Mr. Welles said he regarded agreement upon the amount of the claims as the first step. The Mexican Ambassador seemed pleased with this statement and while indicating the difficulty of paying $40,000,000, suggested that Mexico might increase its offer of $30,000,000. The Ambassador said that he expected to receive tomorrow detailed instructions from the President of Mexico with relation to the various matters, including silver, and that he would embody these instructions in a memorandum which he would deliver on Friday or Saturday to the Under Secretary. It was agreed that a further meeting between the Ambassador and the Under Secretary would be held on Monday, November 18.

The Under Secretary emphasized the desirability of concluding all of these negotiations prior to the Ambassador’s departure from Washington for the Mexican Presidential inauguration and suggested that in order to expedite matters, it would be appreciated if, in so far as practicable, the Ambassador would communicate with Mexico City by telephone. Mr. Welles said that, of course, an agreement for the solution of the oil controversy was of outstanding importance in connection with these negotiations.