740.0011 Pacific War/707: Telegram

The Chargé in Mexico ( McGurk ) to the Secretary of State

720. The Under Secretary called me to this [his?] office tonight and handed me the copy of the following declaration issued by the Mexican Government to the press this evening. I had previously communicated to him the substance of the Department’s circular of December 7, 4 p.m.: (in translation).

“Without a previous declaration of war and exactly at the same time as a Special Ambassador of Japan was in Washington carrying out diplomatic conversations with the high American authorities of the Department of State, the Japanese forces started bombarding Manila and the Hawaiian Islands attacking, in its possessions, the United States of America, and thus obligating themselves, before history, with all the responsibility of those events which are coming and which will, unfortunately, spread that conflagration which is afflicting humanity. The Government of Mexico, which, from the beginning of the present struggle, defined, with full energy, the spirit of positive solidarity which joins it to the other governments of the Continent, has learned with the deepest emotion of these deeds constituting a new violation of the fundamental principles of the rights of mankind committed by one of the powers grouped together with the totalitarian dictatorships against the democracies of the world. With that solemnity which is appropriate to the seriousness of the circumstances, Mexico declares that its conduct will inflexibly follow the postulates of justice and of honor which it has, until today, maintained without hesitation. In the premises, it believes it appropriate to recall that, in accordance with the resolutions adopted in the Meeting of Foreign Ministers at Habana, in 1940, one of these postulates is the fact that any aggression against any nation of this hemisphere will be considered by our country as an aggression against our own sovereignty. Another of these postulates was definitely established in the note that our Chancery addressed, on July 8 of this year to the Uruguayan Chancery56 advising it of the decision of the Government of Mexico [Page 99] that it would not consider as a belligerent any American Republic that, in defense of its rights finds itself in a state of war with countries of other continents. The foregoing principles are Solidly rooted in the public conscience of Mexico and are the direct consequence of the position that we have assumed in condemning all aggressions and in invariably raising our voice against any act implying the intention of placing the contingencies of war ahead of the solutions of justice. Our past is the best guarantee of our future. Associated with the United States in the common defense of democracy and of the destiny of America, we will omit no effort, by all possible means, to establish our spirit of solidarity and of close friendship. In this hour, of the greatest importance, the Government is convinced that the opinion which it expresses is that of all Mexicans and it has the absolute certainty that, irrespective of the results, the nation will carry out unanimously a decision which is in full accord with the continuity of its traditions and with the dignity of our future. Mexico, December 7, 1941.”

  1. See translator’s summary of replies of the American Republics to the Uruguayan proposal, p. 31.