611.1256/10–2747: Telegram

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

us urgent

1158. Dr. Shahan and Dr. Clarkson informed me last night that they have reluctantly but definitely reached the conclusion that the campaign for the eradication of the foot-and-mouth disease from Mexico cannot succeed. Clarkson left by air last night for Washington where he will present to the Department of Agriculture his views and a tentative plan for containment and vaccination. I requested that the State Department be informed promptly of any decisions reached. In view of our adamant insistence upon the slaughter campaign and opposition to the employment of the vaccination method of treatment; in [Page 821] view of the economic consequences of the slaughter thus far accomplished of some 300,000 cattle, 20,000 oxen and large numbers of sheep, goats and swine; and in view of the resultant resentment of that part of the population affected by these measures, it is essential to our good relations with President Alemán and general Mexican-American relations that no abrupt or tactless unilateral action be taken by US. Alemán must be informed in due time of the new course to be taken and, if feasible, should be permitted to take the initiative.