Memorandum by the Adviser on Political Relations (Duggan) to the Under Secretary of State (Stettinius)73

Mr. Stettinius: On November 24, 1943, representatives of the Department and of the Foreign Office agreed, as the result of negotiations in El Paso–Juarez lasting several weeks, upon the terms of a draft treaty on apportionment, control, and use of the waters of the Colorado River and of the Rio Grande below Fort Quitman, Texas.

Copies of an analytical outline and a summary of the draft treaty,74 the originals of which have been sent to the Secretary, are attached hereto. More briefly stated, the draft agreement, in respect of the Rio Grande, allocates to the United States somewhat more than one-half of the waters reaching the main stream of this river each year. The two Governments undertake to build three major storage dams and the necessary auxiliary works on this river.

As for the Colorado River, the United States guarantees to Mexico 1,500,000 acre-feet each year, delivered according to annual schedules formulated by Mexico under certain limitations that adequately protect United States uses on this river. Both Governments undertake [Page 629] to build the dams and other works necessary to carry out the terms regarding this river.

Generally speaking, the administration of the proposed treaty, including planning, construction, operation, and maintenance of essential works, is entrusted to the International Boundary Commission, organized under the Convention of March 1, 1889.75

If the Department approves the terms as tentatively agreed upon, the draft will be prepared in correct treaty style for formal signature. The Secretary and Mr. Berle76 have been informed regarding the present status of the negotiations; and Boundary Commissioner Law-son, Le, TD, RA77 and I are studying the preliminary draft.

Laurence Duggan
  1. The resignation of Sumner Welles as Under Secretary of State was announced on September 25, 1943. He was succeeded by Edward R. Stettinius, Jr.
  2. Neither printed; the draft agreed upon was substantially the same as the treaty signed on February 3, 1944, Department of State Treaty Series No. 994; 59 Stat. (pt. 2) 1219.
  3. William M. Malloy (ed.), Treaties, Conventions, etc., Between the United States of America and Other Powers, 1776–1909 (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1910), vol. i, p. 1167.
  4. Adolf A. Berle, Jr., Assistant Secretary of State.
  5. Office of the Legal Adviser, Treaty Division, and Division of the American Republics, respectively.