The Ambassador in Mexico (Messersmith) to the Secretary of State
[Received February 20—2:22 a.m.]
198. With reference to recent exchange of communications concerning recognition of Aguirre Government of El Salvador, Padilla called me to his house late this afternoon where he is in bed with the grippe and is taking all possible precautions so he may be up and about on Wednesday morning for the first day of the conference.
Padilla said that developments in the El Salvador–Guatemala situation were such that he was under the necessity of informing me that Mexico could not recognize the Aguirre Government as of today as he had indicated it would. He said that he had hoped that the recognition by Mexico of the Aguirre regime would not interfere with the success of the meeting in Mexico City but that his latest conversations indicated that if Mexico recognized the Aguirre regime a very unfavorable atmosphere would be created at the outset of the meeting of American states in Mexico City.
I am not entering into detail in this telegram as I have given the Department recently the reasons which have disturbed Padilla and the Mexican Government in this respect. I am convinced that Padilla’s action is based on his sincere conviction, and on the knowledge which he now has, that by recognizing the Aguirre regime he would be creating an atmosphere in Mexico and in the conference which would have very unhappy results so far as the success of the meeting is concerned. I am convinced that he is governed entirely by considerations of the success of the meeting.[Page 1072]
I believe that he has already informed the Guatemalans that Mexico will not recognize the Aguirre regime but will recognize the Castañeda regime on March first as I have information of a reliable character that the Guatemalan delegation is arriving tomorrow afternoon.