812.50/481: Airgram

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

A–742. I have to refer to the Department’s airgram A–395 of February 26, 1944, with reference to the February 11th [12th] resolution of the Mexican-United States Commission for Economic Cooperation with reference to a minimum program for Mexico’s economic development during the year 1944.

Mr. Lockett, the Resident Member of the Commission, and I gave this airgram very careful consideration. While we realize fully the considerations which the Department has in mind, Mr. Lockett and I are of the opinion that the Commission, in approving in general terms the minimum program covered by the resolution of February 11 [12], was proceeding along wise and sound lines and that such a resolution is necessary in order to give practical effect to the program and the work of the Commission. The War Production Board and the Foreign Economic Administration have indicated their willingness to collaborate with the Economic Commission in the important task before it and they have shown their understanding of the importance of the work of the Commission in Mexican-American relationships. As Mr. Nelson of the War Production Board and Mr. Crowley of the Foreign Economic Administration have wisely and properly pointed out, all such work of the Commission required careful global planning and that these two agencies of our Government which have to do with the allocation of materials have to know well in advance the plans of the Commission in order that these two agencies may be in a position to take these plans into account in their own planning on the broader and wider scale which is their function and obligation. Mr. Lockett and I are of the opinion, therefore, that the Commission in making this global program for 1944 has acted wisely and with consideration, even though some of the projects included in the global program approved have not been given full study in all of their aspects, which is necessary. The projects, however, included in the global program recommended are all sound projects and there is a sound reason for the inclusion of every one in the global program. This approval of the global program does not preclude nor exclude further consideration, by both the Mexican and American sections of the Commission and of the Commission as a whole, or by the Department, or by agencies of our Government concerned, of certain phases of the individual projects included in the global program recommended.

It is the opinion, therefore, of Mr. Lockett and myself that the approval of the global program by the Commission does not exclude the further examination of particular phases of the individual projects [Page 1203] which in some cases will undoubtedly be necessary and in some desirable.

In view of the possibility, however, that this resolution might be misconstrued by the Mexican section, Messrs. Lockett and Patterson41 of the Embassy, and Messrs. Bonsal42 and Machold43 met with Mr. Villa Michel, the Chairman of the Commission, on March 2. Mr. Lockett informed Mr. Villa Michel that following approval of the minimum program, the projects embraced therein which had not already been approved by the Commission should be submitted promptly through established channels for clearance of Commission projects. Mr. Villa Michel indicated his complete understanding of this procedure. Consequently, each project approved by the Mexican Section will be passed to the American Section for study. The American Section will make a preliminary report to Washington requesting instructions before any final approval or rejection is given to the Mexican Section. In other words, in this respect the procedure of the Commission will not be changed, and the Department of State, and the American Commissioners in Washington, and the licensing authorities of our Government, will have every opportunity to study every phase of each individual project before the Commission takes final action, even though the project may be included in the global program recommended by the Commission.

Subsequent to the conversation with Mr. Villa Michel, the Chairman of the Commission, on March 2 above referred to, Messrs. Lockett, Bonsal and Machold had a further opportunity to discuss this matter with Mr. Villa Michel and there is complete understanding by the Mexican members of the Commission44 of the foregoing.

  1. A. W. Patterson, Secretary of the American Section of the Commission.
  2. Dudley B. Bonsal, Executive Secretary of the Washington office of the Commission.
  3. William F. Machold, Special Representative in Mexico of the American Commissioners in Washington, Nelson A. Rockefeller and Wayne C. Taylor.
  4. Villa Michel, Salvador Ugarte, and Evarista Araiza.