611.1256/8–447: Telegram

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

us urgent

853. For Reveley, Mexican Division.35 See my confidential airmail letter July 29.34 President Alemán36 spoke to me at length and with great earnestness with respect to what he described as the political dangers of the campaign for the eradication of the foot and mouth disease as it is now being conducted. He stated that the position of prominence occupied by the American appraisers and paymasters directs resentment toward them which may produce anti-American sentiment and exposes them to danger. Moreover the procedure of the American appraisers and paymasters retards the campaign because they operate on an individual appraisal and payment basis whereas the President feels that a more rapid mass appraisal and payment system with the Americans in the background would be more efficacious and would make for greater speed.

The President then stated that he has reports from scientists familiar with the foot and mouth disease in France, Denmark and England which lead him to believe that a simultaneous program of vaccination should be carried out together with the present American slaughter [Page 816] campaign. He proposes accordingly that a commission of experts from the countries named, together with American experts, be created to work out such a combined vaccination and slaughter campaign. He made it clear that he is not opposed to slaughter but feels that is not the solution of Mexico’s problem and that the vaccination method should be given a full trial.

Licenciado Alemán then stated that he has found it impossible to cause his views to be acceded to by the Joint Commission with respect to methods of operation and plan of campaign, and that he had been led to believe that if he were to insist upon the installation of the vaccination system American cooperation might be jeopardized.

All these considerations, the President stated, have caused him to feel that it is necessary to give the campaign political as well as technical guidance, and he accordingly urgently proposed that a person of high political standing be designated by President Truman to reside in or frequently visit Mexico for the purpose of supervising and exercising broad control based on other than technical considerations over the American section of the Joint Commission. At the same time he would designate a Mexican citizen of comparable high political experience and understanding to collaborate with the agent appointed by President Truman in concurrent control over the Mexican-US Commission. Each agent would have direct access and would report to his President.

I undertook to convey the foregoing message directly to the President and I accordingly request that it be forwarded to him at once. A second message follows.

  1. Paul J. Reveley, Assistant Chief of the Division of Mexican Affairs.
  2. Not printed.
  3. Miguel Alemán Valdes, President of Mexico.