812.6363/7700: Telegram

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

1161. In response to the invitation from the President of Mexico, contained in your 855 of July 28, that this government send a mission composed of oil experts to make a survey of Mexico’s oil industry jointly with representatives of Petroleos Mexicanos, you are requested to inform the President and other appropriate officials that arrangements have been made for such a mission to leave here within the next few days.

The objectives of the mission will be as indicated in Department’s telegram 1061 of July 25 and more fully in Department’s instruction no. 1336 of August 6. It should be understood that the technical work of the mission may follow whatever detailed course is jointly agreed upon between the oil mission and the representatives of Petroleos Mexicanos within the general scope indicated.

The oil mission will work under your general responsibility and authority and will have no direct relations with either the Government of Mexico nor Petroleos Mexicanos except through arrangements made by you. Similarly all relations with the local press will be through the Embassy.

Mr. Everett DeGolyer has been appointed Chief of the oil mission. He is a retired consulting geologist of high attainments and [Page 534] excellent personal and professional reputation. He has no connections of present significance with any particular oil company. He has been instructed to report to you upon arrival which should be Sunday, August 23 by Pan-American Airways from Brownsville, Texas.

Other members of the mission will include:

  • A. C. Chapman, production and general engineering
  • Earle Gard, refining technologist
  • Frank Mack, refinery construction and maintenance
  • G. W. Wattles, representative of Materials Division of War Production Board
  • J. Murrell, technical assistant to chief of oil mission.

All members of the mission are expected to be in Mexico City by August 23.

It is the intention of this government to defray all expenses of the mission including salaries, transportation to and from Mexico City and sustenance while in Mexico. This government is willing to pay such other direct expenses of the mission as are incurred in the performance of its official functions, such as local transportation, local office expense, et cetera, but is inclined to believe that since the work there will be joint with Petroleos Mexicanos it may be more satisfactory if such local expenses are met by the Mexican Government. Your own views on this are requested.

It is estimated that the work now contemplated can be completed in approximately three weeks. It is quite possible that certain of the experts will complete their particular assignments ahead of the others, or that certain ones will be required to remain somewhat longer. It is possible that during the progress of the work now in mind the desirability will be seen of calling for other experts to continue some special line of investigation even after the mission has completed its present assignment. It is the view of this government that such a development would be desirable as a means of giving continuity to the joint effort now getting under way.

It should be made clear to the Mexican authorities that this mission is sent by and represents this government and not any particular department or division thereof. All members of this mission are employees of this government.

If as a result of your recent conversations with the President and other officials you believe that any of the foregoing instructions should be modified the Department will be glad to have your views.