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

Dear Mr. Secretary: The Embassy will be reporting to the Department by despatch in due course concerning the press reaction here to the trip of General Gustavo A. Salinas to combat fronts in Europe, which trip was arranged through the courtesy of the War Department and of the Air Force. You will recall that General Gustavo A. Salinas is the head of the Mexican Air Force and at the invitation of the War Department and of the Air Force made this trip which carried him to combat fronts in Italy and Normandy. General Hall of the [Page 1193] Army Air Force accompanied him all during the trip and they returned via Washington and got to Mexico City yesterday.

General Hall came in to see me yesterday after their arrival and informed me that the trip had been from their point of view satisfactory and successful in every way and he stated that all of our Military Commanders in the zones which General Gustavo Salinas had visited had treated him with the utmost courtesy and had given him an opportunity such as is seldom given to see actual operations.

I have not seen General Gustavo Salinas as yet and I understand that he is making his report to the President of Mexico and to the Minister of National Defense, General Cárdenas,25 today. The morning press, however, carries a preliminary statement which General Gustavo Salinas made, which shows his utmost satisfaction with the trip which he was privileged to make.

This is just a word to say that I am sure that this trip on the part of our Government was a very useful one and will be helpful in various ways in our relationships with Mexico. The President of Mexico is intensely interested in following the progress of the war, as you know he has been since the outset. It will mean a very great deal for him and will be a great personal satisfaction for him to get these firsthand reports which General Gustavo Salinas will be able to give him and the manner in which General Gustavo Salinas was treated during the trip—with full confidence and full opportunity to see what was going on—will undoubtedly make a deep impression on the President and if anything, help to strengthen the deep friendship which he has for us already and for our country.

I do not wish to burden you with any details and will not later but I am sure the President will speak to me about the trip in the near future and express his satisfaction. I did want to say that I think it was a fine thing for the Army and for the Air Corps to arrange for this trip for General Gustavo Salinas and that I think it was a very helpful step on their part in connection with our general relationships with this country.

It was particularly fortunate that an officer of the type of General Hall and of his rank was selected to accompany General Gustavo Salinas on this trip as General Hall has made an excellent impression on the Military and on the high officers of the Mexican Government with whom he has come in contact on the several trips he has made to Mexico.

Believe me [etc.]

G. S. Messersmith
  1. Ex-President Lázaro Cárdenas.