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

Dear George: I appreciate your personal letter to me of May 13 with regard to the conversation you had with Padilla concerning the rumored shortage of water in the Mexicali District.

I understand that as a result of your telephone call to Duggan the Bureau of Reclamation engineer at Yuma, Arizona, made an inspection and reported that more water was passing through the Rockwood Heading and into the Alamo Canal51 than could be used beneficially [Page 615] in the Mexicali Valley. I am advised that this information was relayed by telephone to you and, at your request, was also passed on to de la Colina here. Since that time you have received the Department’s telegram of May 1452 giving additional information from Mr. Lawson.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . .

It is our determination, shared by the Department of the Interior, that the water shall be delivered to Mexico without handling charges and that the only way this can be done is for the United States Government to own, control, and manage the facilities.

If this type of scare tactic is tried again I suggest that you delicately recommend to the Mexican authorities that first of all they check with their own people along the border to ascertain the true facts. Had they done so in the present case they would have found that there was no shortage of water. Mr. Lawson assures us that Señor MacGregor, the Mexican Commissioner, is fully apprized of the exact facts, as must be the Mexican irrigation representative in the Mexicali Valley.

Yours very sincerely,

Sumner Welles
  1. The Canal ran from Rockwood Heading to the upper boundary, then down through the Mexicali Valley and back to the boundary some 80 miles west of Yuma. Mexico was entitled to 50% of the flow through the Canal.
  2. No. 773, not printed.