812.6363/7699a: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Mexico (Messersmith)

1061. Consideration of the Mexican oil situation by various departments and agencies of this Government has proceeded to a point at which it appears desirable that you have a general discussion of the subject with President Avila Camacho both to acquaint him with the present situation here and to secure from him such views as he may wish to express in a preliminary way for the guidance of those here who are engaged in this work. A memorandum setting forth certain views of this Government50 will be air mailed to you within a few days as a basis for such discussion.

Meanwhile to expedite action by this Government on certain of the more urgent problems particularly those having to do with Mexico’s need for oil industry material and equipment this Government believes it would be very desirable to have a small group of technical experts representing this Government, jointly with representatives of Petroleos Mexicanos, make a rapid field survey in Mexico. The purpose of this survey would be to determine in a manner convincing to the various agencies of this Government which have responsibility [Page 527] for material allocation, the degree of urgency appertaining to various types of material requested and the practicability of substituting material and equipment slightly different from that specifically requested but more readily available here. In addition to facilitating prompt action on the problems of most pressing urgency the rapid survey proposed would play a highly important part in determining the subsequent action to be taken by this Government in connection with various Mexican oil industry projects referred to it by the Mexican Government and now under consideration here.

Both the immediate situation and the longer range program have been discussed with Dr. Beteta,51 with particular reference to the desirability of making the rapid field survey mentioned and he has expressed his agreement in the strongest terms.

It is the view of the Department that the formal initiative in this matter should be taken by the Mexican Government but you may assure the President that an invitation from his Government for this Government to send a group of experts for the purpose described will receive prompt and favorable attention. To have the invitation come from the Mexican Government will, in the Department’s opinion, put the oil mission in a relationship with Petroleos Mexicanos and perhaps with others more favorable than would result if such a plan were urged from here.

A group consisting of about four experts in producing, refining, transportation and engineering, could be sent from here within a few days.

Because of the urgency of these problems it is requested that you discuss the proposed oil mission with the President as soon as possible and inform the Department as to the action that can be expected.

Meanwhile every effort is being made to expedite clearance of the most urgently needed repair and maintenance material.

  1. See instruction No. 1336, August 6, to the Ambassador in Mexico, p. 528.
  2. Ramón Beteta, appointed special Minister to the United States by the Mexican Government to take care of economic matters and other matters requiring urgent decisions.