Memorandum by Mr. Kingsley W. Hamilton, Assistant to the Assistant Secretary of State for Economic Affairs ( Clayton )

Summary of Messersmith’s April 27 Letter 33

When Messersmith was last in Washington34 he spoke with the Secretary,35 the President,36 Mr. Wallace37 and Mr. Anderson38 about Mexico’s food requirements and the economic and political disorder which would result if they were not met.

Mr. Wallace agreed that Mexican needs must be met in spite of other demands. In talking with Mr. Anderson, Messersmith expressed his opinion that it was absolutely essential that Mexico receive 1,200,000 bushels of wheat monthly in April, May and June. Secretary Anderson was in complete accord with this as a minimum figure. He could not give Messersmith positive assurance that this amount could be provided but he was sure that it would be.

On his return to Mexico, Messersmith consequently told President Camacho that he was pretty sure from his conversations in Washington that Mexico would get 1,200,000 bushels of wheat per month in April, May and June. Without being positive, Messersmith similarly assured the Mexican Foreign Minister.39

From telephone conversations between officers of the Embassy and the Department, Messersmith now understands that no definite action has been taken on the release of this wheat and that there is a tendency to hold it up. He urges that immediate steps be taken to release it. He further urges that adequate quantities be made available for loading on the SS Tabasco in New Orleans or Galveston about May 5.

Messersmith says, as he told President Truman, that there would [Page 1052] be a revolution and the red flag in Mexico within three months if its wheat needs are not met. He feels that most of the Department is not thinking about this Hemisphere. But it is vital that we do not allow economic distress and revolution in the Western Hemisphere.

Messersmith says he does not wish to criticize what has been said on food deficits in other parts of the world. But after four years in Mexico he knows the economy of the country and what is the use of sending an Ambassador abroad if his word is not to be accepted?

  1. Letter of April 27 from the Ambassador in Mexico (Messersmith) to the Assistant Secretary of State (Clayton), not printed.
  2. Ambassador Messersmith left Mexico City for Washington on April 9, 1946.
  3. Secretary of State James F. Byrnes.
  4. President Harry S. Truman.
  5. Henry A. Wallace, Secretary of Commerce.
  6. Clinton P. Anderson, Secretary of Agriculture.
  7. Francisco Castillo Nájera.