Editorial Note

In early January 1952, the United States invited Mexico to enter into military grant aid negotiations to be held in Mexico City. The Mexican Government accepted the invitation on January 23, 1952, but had difficulty agreeing with the United States on the wording of a suitable press release announcing the beginning of negotiations. At issue was the question of whether or not the Mexican Government would be willing to employ its military forces outside its borders in meeting a threat to the hemisphere. United States policy with regard to military aid was governed by the Mutual Security Act of 1951 which stipulated in Section 401 that United States assistance would depend on the recipient country’s willingness “to participate in missions important to the defense of the Western Hemisphere.” Mexican officials, however, insisted on a joint press release which gave far greater emphasis to developing Mexican defensive military capacity than to hemispheric defense. (Documentation on this subject is contained in Department of State file 712.5 MSP.) The statement finally released on January 25, 1952, simply stated that the two countries had agreed to begin [Page 1327] negotiations on a bilateral military assistance agreement; for text, see Department of State Bulletin, February 11, 1952, page 211.