President Roosevelt to the Secretary of the Interior ( Ickes )

Dear Harold: I have discussed with the Secretary of State your letter of June 7, 1944 regarding the proposed water treaty with Mexico.

I want this jurisdictional problem settled in accordance with the principle that was clearly stated in my letter to you of April 3, 1944. In conformity with this principle and in accordance with my wishes in the matter the two Commissioners of the International Boundary Commission have drawn up a joint draft memorandum20a which they have submitted to the two Governments for their consideration. This memorandum, which has my approval, will be made effective, if approved by the Mexican Government, by an exchange of notes and will thereupon become an official interpretation of and have equal force with the treaty. For your information I am enclosing a copy of this memorandum. The Secretary of State has my full authorization to resolve this question in accordance with this procedure and in agreement with the principle set forth in my letter to you of April 3 and again in the joint memorandum of the two Commissioners.

It is essential that this matter be cleared up immediately; hence if you have any observations to offer please submit them at once to the Secretary of State.21 I of course desire that both Departments give their wholehearted support to the treaty when it is considered by the Senate.

Sincerely yours,

Franklin D. Roosevelt
  1. Supra.
  2. Secretary Ickes in his letters of July 10, 1944, to the President and to the Secretary of State (711.1216M/7–1044), expressed approval of the mechanics of this memorandum but stated his desire to discuss its form. Informal discussions in late July between representatives of the Department and of the Bureau of Reclamation resulted in several changes and additions which were approved by the Department and incorporated in a formal, revised memorandum dated July 27, 1944. This revision was transmitted to Commissioner Lawson by the Secretary in a letter dated July 29, 1944, for examination and approval of the Mexican Commissioner and of his Government, prior to its presentation to the United States Senate for ratification, together with the water treaty. (711.1216M/2812)