711.1227/8–1947: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Embassy in Mexico

us urgent

792. For Ambassador and Bohan. Dept has carefully reviewed Embs views re air transport agreement: First. U.S. route proposals based upon decision by President after recommendations of Board and must be accepted as those required in US public interest. Second. Letter from President part of program designed exert every possible effort obtain agreement including these routes. Third. Dept can not recommend to President accepting less from Mexico unless Dept can honestly say and establish on record that every argument and effort has been applied with result impasse in which must choose between something less than route pattern and no agreement all. Fourth. As matter of negotiating tactics Dept believes very unwise to indicate or imply any compromise on route proposals or any other point prior to time Dept knows specifically all points of difference and can review them. In this connection Dept envisages possibility developing numerous points of difference re preferred language of text of agreement most of which might be conceded in ultimate trading out. Fifth. Unless there is clear record of points of difference on entire agreement and annex indicating exactly what we would get if we were willing to concede something impossible for Dept press issue either with Board or at higher level. For example now have no formal assurance Mexican position on division of traffic, fifth-freedom32 restrictions, non-stop privileges, etc. Dept desires Emb to exert all efforts without reservation along lines indicated.

[Page 760]

Dept assumes views stated Embtel 90933 have been expressed solely to Dept since most unwise to permit Mexicans obtain impression US negotiator doubtful as to validity or wisdom of US position. In this connection Dept disturbed fifth sentence Embtel 900 which indicates negotiator may have implied possible doubt need for Western route. Dept assumes Emb is aware political aspects involved any ultimate route sacrifice and that neither Dept nor Emb can afford to take any action which can be interpreted in any way as prejudicial to one carrier in favor another. Decision must be made by President on basis recommendation CAB. Senators George and Overton this week have approached Dept and President re status negotiations.

Apart from foregoing, views expressed Embtel 909 not acceptable to Dept. Value to US establishing these routes exactly same as value thereof to Mexico in that they provide arteries for fullest development of trade and commerce and improvement of knowledge and understanding between two countries. US desires no monopoly for itself nor for Mexico. We are fully convinced monopolies restrain development and prevent benefits of air service from being obtained. US believe its form of agreement provides adequate safeguards for preventing unfair competitive practices and that Mexicans would not be estopped either legally or practically from development their air services in competition with ours. We would strongly favor such development as guaranteeing to both countries exertion of best efforts of all operators to improve service offered. Treating areas of competition as suggested simply another and equally objectionable way of dividing traffic. Dept does not believe establishment Western route would adversely affect CMA except to deprive it of monopoly that is contrary best interests Mexico and to require it constantly develop and improve its services to meet fair competition which could only inure to benefit of Mexico. Provisions our form agreement safeguard against any abuse superior resources of US operators although comparison financial status Western and CMA (backed by PAA) leaves no doubt as to fallacy of argument Western would choke CMA out.

Dept believes best course at this point is to follow procedure suggested Deptel 78434 in light contents this message. Joseph Wolf who is completely familiar with US position all points is proceeding at once to advise Emb.

  1. Under the International Air Transport Agreement (Five Freedoms), Fifth Freedom rights are defined as follows: “The privilege to take on passengers, mail and cargo destined for the territory of any other contracting State and the privilege to put down passengers, mail and cargo coming from any such territory.” (Department of State, Proceedings of the International Civil Aviation Conference, Chicago, November 1–December 7, 1944, vol. i, p. 179)
  2. In telegram 909, August 19, 7 p.m., Ambassador Thurston suggested a pattern from four standpoints as basis of a possible agreement (711.1227/8–1947). The English translation of the Mexican draft air transport agreement was transmitted to the Department in telegram 1067, October 3, 4 p.m., from Mexico City; not printed.
  3. Not printed.