710 Conference W & PW/4–445
The Ambassador in Mexico (Messersmith) to the Secretary of State
[Received April 9.]
Sir: I have the honor to refer to a telephone conversation which Mr. Cabot29 of the Department had with me on the morning of April 3, during which he stated that the Department would be very much interested in knowing what the status of the plans were for the signing by the Argentine Government of the Resolutions of the Mexico City Meeting. Immediately after this conversation with Mr. Cabot I discussed this matter with the Minister of Foreign Relations, Dr. Padilla, who informed me that the Argentine Chargé d’Affaires, Mr. Calvo, had just informed the Ministry that he had the appropriate instructions from his Government to sign the Acts of the Mexico City Meeting. The Minister stated that he had satisfied himself that the Chargé d’Affaires had the appropriate authorization in proper form from his Government and had therefore arranged that the signing [Page 152] should take place on April 4 at 12 o’clock in the Ministry of Foreign Relations.
I asked the Minister whether there would be any previous publicity given to this act of signing and he said that a brief statement would probably be given to the press in Mexico City on the evening of April 3, to the effect that in view of the Resolution of the Inter-American Conference on Problems of War and Peace on the Argentine, and in view of the acts of the Argentine Government in consequence thereof, and in view of the Resolution of the Pan American Union of a few days ago,30 the Argentine Government had given appropriate powers to its Chargé d’Affaires in Mexico City to sign the Acts of the Mexico City Meeting for that Government and that the signature would take place on Wednesday, April 4, at 12 o’clock noon in the Ministry of Foreign Relations. I asked the Minister if there would be any objection to publicity in the United States and he stated that there would be no objection to any publicity which might be given in the United States late in the evening of April 3, or in the morning press of April 4.
In view of the interest expressed by Mr. Cabot in having this information as soon as possible, I immediately conveyed the foregoing to Mr. Cabot by telephone at approximately 3 p.m. Mexico City time on April 3.
During the conversation above referred to with the Minister, he indicated that the ceremony of signing would be a very simple one and that aside from the Argentine Chargé d’Affaires and such personnel as he might bring with him there would be present only himself and personnel of the Mexican Foreign Office.
This morning I was informed by the Foreign Office that they would be happy to have me present at the ceremony of signature at 12 o’clock. I called the Foreign Office which informed me that it had been intended to have it a very simple ceremony but that various Chiefs of Missions in Mexico City of the American Republics had indicated a desire to be present. In view of that the Minister informed me that it had informally invited all of the Chiefs of Mission of the American countries to be present.
I attended the ceremony in the Foreign Office at 12 o’clock noon today. All of the Chiefs of Mission who are in the City were present. Dr. Padilla made a very brief statement in which he expressed his satisfaction that this signature was taking place. His remarks were carefully and well chosen and will be reported in a separate despatch. The Argentine Chargé d’Affaires replied very briefly. [Page 153] The Peruvian Ambassador,31 who is Dean of the Diplomatic Corps, in a few sentences expressed the gratification of himself and his colleagues over the act of signature which he said was an expression of the traditions of the Argentine people and nation.
At the end of the ceremony I approached the Argentine Chargé d’Affaires, who has been in Mexico City for some months but whom I have not met, and I expressed to him my satisfaction over the signature which had just taken place. It was rather interesting that the Argentine Chargé d’Affaires in a most cordial and effusive manner stated “I can assure you that this ceremony of signature of the Acts of Mexico City has been the most important and to me the most pleasing in my diplomatic service for my country during more than twenty-five years. Nothing that I have done during that service for my country has given me greater satisfaction than to sign the Acts of the Mexico City Meeting on behalf of my country. I would be very glad if you would convey this expression of my feeling to your Government”.
As the remarks of Dr. Padilla and of the Argentine Chargé d’Affaires and of the Peruvian Ambassador as Dean of the Diplomatic Corps were all extemporaneously [made] I shall report them later. The press was present and I shall transmit in due course the statements as reported in the press.