Memorandum of Conversation, by Mr. William G. MacLean of the Division of Mexican Affairs

Subject: Withdrawal of note no. 1030 of February 26, 1947, regarding Zebu cattle, by the Mexican Ambassador.

Participants: His Excellency Señor Dr. Don Antonio Espinosa de los Monteros, Ambassador of Mexico;
Señor Don Vicente Sánchez Gavito, Counselor of the Mexican Embassy;
Mr. Ellis O. Briggs, Director, Office of American Republic Affairs;
Mr. William G. MacLean, Division of Mexican Affairs.

The Mexican Ambassador came in as prearranged to request the return of his note no. 1030 of February 26, 1947, a copy of which is attached,31 regarding testimony on the importation into Mexico of Zebu bulls from Brazil by Mr. Guy W. Ray, Chief of the Division of Mexican Affairs, before a Congressional committee.32 The Ambassador had stated in his note that his Government was firmly convinced that the importation was in no way a violation of the Sanitary Convention of March 16, 1928, between the Government of the United States and the Government of Mexico.

The Ambassador stated that it was now his conviction that the important thing was for the two Governments to cooperate in every possible way for the eradication of the foot and mouth disease in Mexico and that the question of antecedents should not be allowed to threaten that cooperation. He enlarged on this thesis and included a statement that his Government considered that the importation of bulls was not a violation of the Convention. Mr. Briggs replied that this Government had demonstrated by its action that its viewpoint was that every other consideration should be subordinated to the fullest cooperation in stopping the progress of this destructive disease and to bring about its complete eradication as soon as possible. He said that this Government, as the Mexican Government knew, was of the opinion that the importation of these cattle into Mexico from infected areas was a violation of the Convention. He said that the situation was one on which it was desirable to agree to disagree in the interests of insuring complete cooperation in the wiping out of the disease at the earliest possible date. The note was then returned to the Ambassador.

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The Mexican Ambassador referred to the appropriations made to carry on the campaign to June 30 and expressed the hope that this Government would take the necessary steps to participate in the work until the disease was completely stamped out.33 He was assured of the continuing interest of this Government in assisting Mexico, as well as preventing the spread of the disease toward or into the United States.

(Attached hereto for the records of the Department is a copy of the note which had been prepared in the Department as a reply to the Mexican note under reference.34 The Mexican Embassy had been informally advised of the nature of this proposed reply, and apparently the strong evidence therein supporting the Department’s stand led to the Mexican Ambassador’s request that his note of February 26 be returned to him.)

  1. Not printed.
  2. See Hearings Before the Committee on Agriculture, House of Representatives, 80th Cong., 1st sess., on H.R. 1819 (S. 568), February 10, 11, and 12, 1947.
  3. Public Law 122, approved June 27, 1947, Public Law 161, approved July 30, 1947, and Public Law 271, approved July 30, 1947, made appropriations for expenses incident to the control and eradication of foot-and-mouth disease, amounting to $1,500,000, $5,000,000, and $100,000 respectively; for texts, see 61 Stat. 185, 245, and 617, respectively.
  4. Not printed.