812.6363/8032a: Telegram

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

1955. The Department has reviewed your letters of October 20 and 2997a to Duggan and related correspondence regarding the Mexican petroleum situation.

As matters now stand, the Embassy has presented a memorandum to the Mexican Government setting forth for its consideration certain ideas (your despatch 8862 of April 2).98 The Mexican Government has indicated, particularly in the conversation between President Avila Camacho and President Roosevelt, that it considers that the memorandum offers a basis for discussion. It has not, however, presented any definite or specific comment.

While the Department has read with interest the material enclosed with your letters of October 20 and October 29 to Duggan, it has no specific comment at this time and believes that detailed consideration of the points raised should await some specific and definitive statement from the Mexican Government with regard to the memorandum which was presented to the Mexican Government last March.

The Embassy and the Department seem to be in agreement that this is a question not to be settled by bilateral agreement but rather that following the conclusion of the exchange of views the Mexican Government will issue a statement of policy regarding the exploitation and development of Mexican oil resources, that where necessary this statement will be implemented by proper legislation and regulations, and that agreements will then be negotiated between the Mexican Government and United States companies. This Government will not participate in the negotiation of these agreements, although its good offices will of course be constantly available to facilitate the discussions between the Government and United States private interests.

The Embassy is believed to be fully aware of the rapid depletion of United States oil reserves, a depletion greatly accelerated by the great demand for petroleum products during the war. The United [Page 470] States is rapidly reaching the point where it must import oil from foreign sources. Negotiations are now progressing in many parts of the world to assure the United States the supplies it needs. Against this background, the vast importance of the Mexican negotiations is rat once apparent. The Department is confident that the personal attention which it knows you will give this matter will produce the result so necessary to the future welfare of this country.

  1. Neither found in Department files.
  2. See footnote 84, p. 458.