Memorandum by the Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs (Miller) to the Secretary of State 2


Subject: Mexican Oil Loan.

In accordance with your suggestion, the attached memorandum has been prepared setting out the reasons why it would be unwise to revise our position respecting the petroleum loan to Pemex3 at this time. I shall of course be glad to incorporate any suggestions which you may wish to make.

I do not wish to attach undue importance to the related matter which I recently discussed with you. Our relations with the Mexican Government are on a very satisfactory basis and I expect that they will continue to be so.

It is nevertheless true that a few Mexicans continue their attempts to carry on foreign affairs negotiations directly with individual members of Congress. In most cases these Mexican intermediaries have no official position, claim to have “influence” with high Mexican officials and probably intend to profit personally from the transactions they seek to promote.

Their usual method is to transport and entertain in Mexico at their expense individual Americans considered to be in a position to influence United States policy. Unfortunately, their guests seldom hear more than one side of the story and sometimes become well-intentioned but naive and vocal advocates of the Mexican point of view.

To the extent that the Mexican intermediaries succeed in setting off one United States agency against another, the bargaining power of the Department, and its abilility effectively to serve United States, interests, are impaired. The effect of last year’s intervention in the [Page 937] Pemex negotiations is a doleful example of the harm that can be done.

I do not know of any effective way to put an end to this practice. You may however wish to consider whether any good purpose would be served by informing the President.

Edward G. Miller, Jr.
  1. A marginal note, apparently referring to both this memorandum and its attachment, reads: “Carried to White House by S[ecretary] 1–23.” In a memorandum dated January 23, Lucius D. Battle, Special Assistant to Secretary Acheson, said in part that the latter had not commented on the substance of his meeting with the President that day. (812.2553/1–2350)
  2. Petróleos Mexicanos S.A., a government-owned oil corporation.