203. Telegram 2494 to Mexico City, March 61

[Facsimile Page 1]

In news conference March 6 President was asked question Chamizal. Begin verbatim:

Question: Mr. President, reports from Texas seem to indicate that the United States is ready to transfer the Chamizal to Mexico. If this is true, could you give us some idea of the time-table expected?

The President: No, but there have been negotiations on Chamizal for a good many years, and they were stepped up following the visit to Mexico. We are close, I would hope, to an agreement and I think that the next week should tell us whether we can get an accord. The advantage of course of the Chamizal is that if we can get a solution, is that it will wipe out a black mark in the record of the United States [Typeset Page 486] where we refused to accept an arbitration claim 40 years ago and as a result we have never been able to get the Mexicans to agree to any arbitration with us. So I am very anxious to see that settled and we have made pretty good progress on it. There are still some questions that have to be settled but the prognosis I would think was hopeful and we would know in the next few weeks. End verbatim.

  1. President’s response to news conference question on Chamizal. Unclassified. 1 p. DOS, CF, POL 32–1 MEX–US.