711.1227/8–1447: Telegram

The Ambassador in Mexico ( Thurston ) to the Secretary of State


900. For Reveley, Mexican Division,27 and Bell, Aviation. First stage conversations with Martín Pérez28 terminated today. He will see President and Secretary Communications weekend hoping resume talks Monday.29 He stated Mexico prepared include all existing US routes and either Eastern or Braniff, maintaining Mexico should have monopoly New Orleans–Los Angeles nonstop route. He suggested these views be communicated Washington. He was informed that while this would be done, Embassy could answer at once re Eastern and Braniff. These routes essential if objective increased tourist trade is valid since economic benefits to be derived by Mexico from agreement promised in competition between Eastern–American and Braniff-American and fullest traffic potential could not and would not be developed by any other means. Therefore Embassy impelled be adamant and Martín Pérez requested to so inform superiors. Embassy agreed explain Mexican views respecting Western.

Fact that foregoing conversation preceded and followed by definite statements, Alemán wants agreement and Martín Pérez strongly feels agreement in sight strengthens Embassy’s opinion that both Eastern and Braniff routes can be secured and that Western only real issue.

[Page 758]

Embassy’s interpretation Mexican position re Western is that Mexico feels CAB certificated carriers entirely on basis US interests without consideration or allowance legitimate interests Mexican carriers; that while US insistence goal routes understandable up to certain point, continued stand that Latin American route decision sacrosanct tantamount imposing US will and no negotiating inter-agreement.

Embassy feels its case airtight respecting US pattern except for Western. In this case Mexican company with enviable record and responsible developing Mexico City–Los Angeles route already faces real competition from American, non-stop schedule 7 hours 45 minutes elapsed time DC–4 equipment versus American [Mexican] 8½ hours DC–6 equipment. American schedule including inspection time lost El Paso so that travelers’ time approximately same. It is difficult refute Mexican contention competition already present and Mexican Company cannot compete two US carriers.30

Embassy also wishes point out poor policy of attempting reach agreement which is not mutually satisfactory or wherein grave danger exists that only successful Mexican international operator might fail.

Mexico asks same eight routes requested last June, including Mexico City–Detroit and beyond. Embassy made no comments to Mexicans re routes but wishes indicate Department favors giving Mexico as many routes as consistent with other inter–agreements. Through routes requested can never be profitably operated without cabotage rights. Mexico cognizant this fact, but wishes sufficient routes give appearance reciprocity and satisfy internal political considerations.

Time has arrived for policy as distinguished from technical decision. Mexican Division should emphasize probability US–Mexican economic relations entering period strain as foreshadowed by foot and mouth, trade agreement, protection of industry, and balance of payments difficulties.31 Also present conversations deliberately timed coincide with keen interest tourist promotion as means increasing dollar balances, an [Page 759] interest publicly and privately displayed by Alemán and key Cabinet officers. In short, no better opportunity foreseeable for prompt settlement mutually beneficial and therefore lasting agreement.

Instructions requested by August 16.

  1. Paul J. Reveley, Assistant Chief, Division of Mexican Affairs.
  2. Angel Martín Pérez, Private Secretary of the Mexican Minister of Communications and Public Works.
  3. August 18.
  4. In telegram 780, August 18, the Department stressed that “giving up of Western route and granting of monopoly to CMA would be extremely distasteful to US and might well be bar to agreement”, and continued: “Argument advanced urtel re comparative times American and CMA schedules fails take account fact that competitive disadvantage of CMA due to equipment easily remedied and also fact that traffic statistics indicate clearly growing increase in CMA traffic over this route and corresponding decrease American traffic via El Paso. Dept in agreement your views re forcing agreement not mutually satisfactory and is making every effort propose solution mutually acceptable. Nevertheless we believe you should exert every effort convince Mexicans validity our requirement for Western route” (711.1227/8–1447).
  5. For documentation on these subjects, see pp. 811 ff., pp. 772 ff., and pp. 764 ff.