611.1294/9–2252

Memorandum of Conversation, by the Director of the Office of Transport and Communication Policy ( Barringer )1

confidential

Subject:

  • Mexican Air Agreement
  • Participants: President Truman
  • Secretary Acheson

The Secretary raised with the President the question of the negotiation [Page 1334] with Mexico for an air transport agreement, which negotiation the President had directed in his memorandum to the Secretary dated September 8.2 The Secretary told the President that he was anxious to obtain his thinking on this matter in order best to carry out his wishes. The President stated that for a number of years he had been most anxious to complete a satisfactory air agreement with Mexico and that he had reason to believe that President Aleman was equally anxious to complete such an agreement before he left office in December. The President further stated that he had taken the action to suspend three of the certificates issued in 1946 to US air carriers in order to create a more favorable situation for this negotiation.

The Secretary pointed out to the President the Department’s ideas with respect to an acceptable vs. an unacceptable agreement. The President emphasized that he wanted competition on the major routes and could not accept any agreements which would give an exclusive right on such routes to a Mexican carrier.

Pointing out to the President the controversial character of the proposed negotiation and the various pressures which might combine in an attempt to force the United States to concede to certain anticipated Mexican demands and thereby produce an unacceptable agreement, the Secretary urged that the President permit him to select a competent knowledgeable negotiator, independent of Government, who could then best serve all the United States interests involved. The President assured the Secretary that it was his (the Secretary’s) responsibility to conduct the negotiations and that he should certainly be free to select anyone he considered would be helpful. In response to the Secretary’s suggestion that Mr. George P. Baker would be ideally suited, the President voiced his complete confidence in Mr. Baker. The President then stated that his principal adviser in this matter was Mr. Donald W. Nyrop, Chairman of the Civil Aeronautics Board, and urged the Secretary to meet with Mr. Nyrop as soon as possible, making a note that Mr. Nyrop should be called to meet with the Secretary.

  1. Secretary of State Acheson verbally passed the substance of this conversation to Mr. Barringer at a subsequent meeting which also included Messrs. Thorp, Mann, and J. Robert Schaetzel, Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary of State for Economic Affairs.
  2. This memorandum was not found in Department of State files. However, White House assistant David Stowe notified the State Department that President Truman’s letter to Mr. Nyrop dated Sept. 8 (p. 1330) directed the Department to initiate air transportation negotiations with Mexico. (Memorandum of conversation, by Jeffrey C. Kitchen, Special Assistant to the Secretary of State, dated Sept. 10, 1952, 611.1294/9–1052)