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



  • Mexican Air Agreement
[Page 1335]
  • Participants: Secretary Acheson
  • Donald W. Nyrop, Chairman, Civil Aeronautics Board
  • Mr. Thorp, E
  • Mr. Mann, ARA
  • Mr. Schaetzel, E
  • Mr. Barringer, TRC

Pursuant to the President’s instructions, Mr. Donald W. Nyrop today met with the Secretary and the above-listed Departmental officers. Mr. Nyrop reviewed briefly the past negotiations with Mexico for an air agreement, including some detail on the negotiation which he conducted in December 1951. He pointed out that each negotiation had failed because of the Mexican insistence on the retention for a Mexican carrier of exclusive rights on the route from Los Angeles to Mexico City. He pointed out that this route was operated by CMA, a Mexican carrier, approximately 40 percent of the capital of which was owned by Pan American Airways. The Mexican interests in this company have been among the most important political supporters of President Aleman.

Mr. Nyrop reviewed in detail the various routes between the United States and Mexico which are now being operated, and those additional routes which might also be exchanged in an agreement acceptable to the United States. Mr. Nyrop indicated that he hoped the CAB, in making its finding, would indicate that the minimum position for the US would incorporate equal competitive opportunity on the three major routes to and from Mexico City: Los Angeles–Mexico City; Dallas–Mexico City; and New Orleans–Mexico City. He suggested that the Board might agree to a temporary one or two-year delay in the inauguration of United States service either from Los Angeles or from New Orleans in order to give a Mexican carrier an opportunity to develop its service. It appeared that, if the general basis outlined by Mr. Nyrop were to be incorporated in the Board’s opinion, it would meet the President’s expressed desire for competition on the major routes.

Mr. Nyrop then stated that the Civil Aeronautics Board would recommend to the Department on or before October 3 a maximum and a minimum United States position. It was agreed that this position would be discussed and then approved by the President prior to the inauguration of negotiations. In closing, Mr. Nyrop requested that the Secretary again confirm with the President his preference for having these negotiations conducted by Mr. Baker, inasmuch as Mr. David Stowe had suggested that the negotiations might be appropriately handled by the Ambassador, assisted by himself.