710 Conference W and PW/2–1445

Political Memorandum No. 5 by Mr. William Sanders, a Technical Officer of the Delegation

Licenciado García Robles stated that the actual drafting of the Mexican proposals under Topic II was well under way and that these would incorporate the ideas he had communicated to me. He stated that the Second Committee74 had approved these ideas without substantial change.

Licenciado Moheno, Secretary of the First Committee, said that the work had not progressed beyond a simple exchange of views among the members of the Committee, but expected that by Wednesday of this week he would be able to report more definitely on what the Mexican delegation would propose under Topic I. He added that they considered that the most important problems of the topic had reference to political and military defense.

With respect to military problems, he said that the Committee was consulting the various defense agencies of the government and that among the subjects being considered were the following:

A proposal for some form of limited compulsory military training in each republic, in order that each country might more adequately exercise the necessary “vigilance” in and near its territory.
A proposal for the training of special units charged with the defense of strategic zones. Mr. Machold suggested that perhaps in [Page 115] this connection they have in mind the continuance of such specialized training of Latin Americans in the United States as represented by aviation courses and submarine patrol. In addition such proposals might include not only the continuance but an expansion of training facilities in Latin America supported by the United States as exemplified in the aviation school at Puebla or the meteorological school at Medellin, Colombia. This may also involve the continuance in some form of military Lend Lease. Although it is doubtful that the Mexicans have this in mind, their proposal would offer a convenient hook on which some other delegation could hang a recommendation for gradual relinquishment of United States control over air and other military bases in Latin America.
A proposal for the establishment of factories for the local processing of strategic raw materials. There are reasons for thinking that this involves the processing of such materials in Latin America rather than within the countries to which they are at present exported. In this connection, Mr. Machold stated recently that some time back Licenciado Wiechers referred to henequen as an example of a commodity which might be processed to a greater degree than it now is within Mexico rather than in the United States.
A declaration of a very general character favoring a more adequate and suitable utilization (aprovechamiento) of strategic raw materials and labor. This is related to the previous proposal, but is much broader, including not only the idea of local processing, but of the development of strategic raw material resources within the inner lines of communication of the ultimate consumer; that is, that such resources in Latin America be favored, even though perhaps economically unsound, over African, Far Eastern, and other colonial sources.

With reference to defense against subversive activities, Licenciado Moheno was in complete agreement with the ideas, described to him in general terms, of the preliminary draft prepared in the Department. He added that the First Committee of the Mexican Delegation had been thinking of a proposal that there should be no relaxation in the emergency controls for the duration and that political defense problems of the post-hostilities period be considered.

Licenciado Moheno likewise indicated that while they had not done much thinking with respect to the protection of the interests of the American Republics in enemy territory, there had been some discussion of the desirability of creating national registers of all claims for damages held by the nationals of these Republics against the Axis. He said that such registers would facilitate the briefing of cases and would assist in sifting out locally the extravagant allegations which usually accompany claims of this character.

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According to Licenciado Moheno, the Mexican Delegation will not offer a proposal on the renewal of diplomatic relations with the Axis powers or satellite states. He expressed general approval of the contents of the draft prepared in the Department, which were described to him in general terms. He did not raise the question brought up by Licenciado García Robles reported in Political Memorandum No. 4, 1st page, 3rd paragraph.74a

  1. On World Organization.
  2. Ante, p. 90.