810.20 Defense/480

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

The Mexican Ambassador came to see me today, having returned from Mexico City last night. The Ambassador suffered from a heavy cold and the conversation consequently was very brief.

The Ambassador said that President Manuel Avila Camacho believed it preferable that no announcement of the appointment of the Joint Mexican-American Defense Commission be made until after the first of the new year.2 The President of Mexico stated in this message that there had been so much propaganda in the past few days in Mexico to the effect that the new administration in Mexico had made territorial concessions to the United States in return for American recognition of the new Mexican regime that he feared the announcement of the appointment of the Joint Defense Commission would give increasing rise to these rumors. He believed that after the first of the year the propaganda would have died out and only beneficial results could then be obtained.

He stated, however, that he would like to have as soon as possible the agenda which our military and naval authorities suggested for the consideration of the Joint Defense Commission, and he added that he was appointing immediately appropriate new military and naval attaches in the Mexican Embassy in Washington who would undertake preliminary conversations and who would later be appointed as the Mexican members of the Joint Defense Commission.

S[umner] W[elles]
  1. For announcement made on March 5, 1941, see Department of State Bulletin, March 8, 1941, p. 264.