711.1216M/2453a: Telegram

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

1411. For your information and such use as you may deem appropriate Lawson, acting under authorization, has suggested to Fernández [Page 622] MacGregor that latter inform Foreign Office that Department stands prepared to send to El Paso representatives fully authorized to discuss and reach preliminary agreement to form basis on which draft treaty could be worked out on all phases of water problem. This is on the understanding that, as stated in letter December 22, 1942, Bursley to Duggan,68 Foreign Office prefers this procedure.

Mexican Commissioner has undertaken to telephone Foreign Office regarding this matter.

Intimate relationship of technical matters to broader questions makes separate discussion inadvisable and dependence upon technical data and advice fully justifies El Paso–Juarez as seat of preliminary negotiations.

Absence of any agreement, temporary or otherwise, governing diversions of Colorado River water to Mexico makes it highly important from point of view of both countries to reach an early understanding.

Present idea is that Duggan, McGurk, and Timm, together with Lawson and his advisers, would represent Department, provided Foreign Office will send to El Paso–Juarez representatives similarly authorized.

Mexican Embassy has been informed in the sense of the foregoing but, as stated, proposal is being made through Mexican Commissioner, who, it is understood, discussed with Padilla a few days ago a similar procedure.

If this procedure is acceptable to Foreign Office, the discussions in El Paso–Juarez should begin as soon as possible.

  1. Not printed.