The American Embassy in Mexico to the Mexican Ministry for Foreign Affairs 13

No. 4,042


From reports received from United States Consular officers stationed in Mexico, and from readings of the Diario Oficial and of several of the official State bulletins, this Embassy has observed that during the course of the past few years there have been a number of expropriations of land owned in the Republic of Mexico by citizens of the United States, as well as a large number of provisional dotations.

In the cases where there has been definite expropriation, it has been brought to the attention of the Embassy through several channels that the United States citizens suffering losses of this kind are not generally receiving compensation of any kind from the Mexican Government for lands so expropriated, or for dotations from their properties. The Embassy has addressed communications concerning a number of these cases to the Ministry of Foreign Relations for reference to the appropriate Mexican authorities, with particular respect to the question of adequate and just compensation to the affected land owners.

In cases where expropriations are considered necessary by the appropriate Mexican authorities, and inevitable, it is the considered belief of this Embassy, which it believes is shared by the Ministry for Foreign Relations, that without effective measures for the prompt payment of just compensation to the affected land owners, a distinctly unfortunate situation will be created.

The Governments of Mexico and the United States have settled in a definite manner a very considerable number of previous expropriations through an equitable arrangement between the two Governments. It was the thought, it is believed by this Embassy, that when this arrangement was entered into, any further cases of expropriation posterior to the arrangement would be settled by equitable and prompt compensation. The Embassy of the United States of America permits itself to express the opinion to the Foreign Office that any difficulties growing out of expropriations and dotations posterior to this arrangement between the two Governments should be foreseen and forestalled. The Embassy of the United States is concerned with the increasing accumulation of these cases which are coming to its attention. It is believed that the forestalling of such cases will further strengthen greatly the foundation already well established of the program of commercial and industrial cooperation in the immediate postwar years, as an integral part of the long-range policy [Page 1190] of mutually beneficial and neighborly cooperation between the Republics of the United States of America and Mexico.

There is attached to this memorandum a partial list14 of expropriations and dotations from properties owned by United States citizens, subsequent to the 1941 agreement. The owners of the lands in these cases, with possibly very few exceptions, are not entitled to make claims for compensation under the 1941 agreement because of the recent dates of the expropriations.

In the appended list, which I15 should like to state is partial and not complete, we have endeavored to separate the cases where the action has been a definite expropriation, and where it is of another character, such as provisional dotation.

  1. Copy transmitted to the Department in despatch 25,349, July 14, from Mexico; received July 21.
  2. Not printed; approximately one-half of the 34 cases on this partial list involved definitive expropriation.
  3. George S. Messersmith.