« ПретходнаНастави »
(The Mexican note was addressed to Mr. Lind and signed by Senor F. Gamboa, Secretary for Foreign Affairs. Its salient parts were:
The imputation that no progress has been made toward establishing a Government that may enjoy the obedience of the Mexican people is unfounded. In contradiction with their gross imputation, which is not supported by any proofs, principally because there are none, it affords me pleasure to refer, Mr. Confidential Agent, to the following facts which abound in evidence and which to a certain extent must be known to you by direct observation. The Mexican Republic, Mr. Confidential Agent, is formed by 27 States, 3 Territories, and 1 Federal District, in which the supreme power of the Republic has its seat. Of these 27 States, 18 of them, the 3 Territories, and the Federal District (making a total of 22 political entities) are under the absolute control of the present Government, which, aside from the above, exercises its authority over almost every port in the Republic and, consequently, over the custom houses therein established. Its southern frontier is open and at peace. Moreover, my Government has an army of 80,000 men in the field, with no other purpose than to insure complete peace in the Republic, the only national aspiration and solemn promise of the present provisional President. . .
Inasmuch as the Government of the United States is willing to act in the most disinterested friendship, it will be difficult for it to find a more propitious opportunity than the following: If it should only watch that no material and monetary assistance is given to rebels who find refuge, conspire, and provide themselves with arms and food on the other side of the border; if it should demand from its minor and local authorities the strictest observance of the neutrality laws, I assure you, Mr. Confidential Agent, that the complete pacification of this Republic would be accomplished within a relatively short time. . . .
His Excellency Mr. Wilson is laboring under a serious delusion when he declares that the present situation of Mexico is incompatible with the compliance of her international obligations and with the required maintenance of conditions tolerable in Central America. No charge has been made by any foreign Government accusing us of the above lack of compliance, we are punctually meeting all of our credits, we are still maintaining diplomatic missions cordially accepted in almost all the countries of the world. With regard to our interior development, a contract has just been signed with Belgian capitalists which means to Mexico the construction of something like 5,000 kilometers of railway. In conclusion, we fail to see the evil results, which are prejudicial only to ourselves, felt in Central America by our present domestic war. . . . With reference to the rebels who style themselves “Constitutionalists," one of the representatives of whom has been given an ear by Members of the United States Senate, what could
there be more gratifying to us than if, convinced of the precipice to which we are being dragged by the resentment of their defeat, in a moment of reaction they would depose their rancor and add their strength to ours so that all together we would undertake the great and urgent task of national reconstruction? Unfortunately they do not avail themselves of the amnesty law enacted by the provisional government. . . .
The request that General Victoriano Huerta should agree not to appear as a candidate for the Presidency of the Republic in the coming election cannot be taken into consideration, because, aside from its strange and unwarranted character, there is a risk that the same might be interpreted as a matter of personal dislike. . . . The legality of the government of General Huerta cannot be disputed. Article 85 of our political constitution provides:
If at the beginning of a constitutional term neither the President nor the Vice-President elected present themselves, the President whose term has expired will cease in his functions, and the secretary for foreign affairs shall immediately take charge of the Executive power in the capacity of provisional President; and if there should be no secretary for foreign affairs, the Presidency shall devolve on one of the other secretaries pursuant to the order provided by the law.
Now, then, the facts which occurred are the following: The resignation of Francisco I. Madero, constitutional President, and Jose Maria Pino Suarez, constitutional Vice-President of the Republic. These resignations having been accepted, Pedro Lascurain, Minister for Foreign Affairs, took charge by law of the vacant executive power, appointing, as he had the power to do, Gen. Victoriano Huerta to the post of Minister of the Interior. As Mr. Lascurain soon afterwards resigned, and as his resignation was immediately accepted by Congress, Gen. Victoriano Huerta took charge of the executive power, also by operation of law, with the provisional character and under the constitutional promise already complied with to issue a call for special elections. As will be seen, the point of issue is exclusively one of constitutional law in which no foreign nation, no matter how powerful and respectable it may be, should mediate in the least. . . .
With reference to the final part of the instructions of President Wilson, which I beg to include herewith and say, "If Mexico can suggest any better way in which to show our friendship, serve the people of Mexico, and meet our international obligations, we are more than willing to consider the suggestion," that final part causes me to propose the following equally decorous arrangement: One, that our ambassador be received in Washington; two, that the United States of America send us a new ambassador without previous conditions. And all this threatening and distressing situation will have
reached a happy conclusion; mention will not be made of the causes which might carry us, if the tension persists, to no one knows what incalculable extremities for two peoples who have the unavoidable obligation to continue being friends, provided, of course, that this friendship is based upon mutual respect, which is indispensable between two sovereign entities wholly equal before law and justice.]
I am led to believe that they were rejected partly because the authorities at Mexico City had been grossly misinformed and misled upon two points. They did not realize the spirit of the American people in this matter, their earnest friendliness and yet sober determination that some just solution be found for the Mexican difficulties; and they did not believe that the present administration spoke through Mr. Lind, for the people of the United States. The effect of this unfortunate misunderstanding on their part is to leave them singularly isolated and without friends who can effectually aid them. So long as the misunderstanding continues we can only await the time of their awakening to a realization of the actual facts. We can not thrust our good offices upon them. The situation must be given a little more time to work itself out in the new circumstances; and I believe that only a little while will be necessary. For the circumstances are new. The rejection of our friendship makes them new and will inevitably bring its own alterations in the whole aspect of affairs. The actual situation of the authorities at Mexico City will presently be revealed.
Meanwhile, what is it our duty to do? Clearly, everything that we do must be rooted in patience and done with calm and disinterested deliberation. Impatience on our part would be childish, and would be fraught with every risk of wrong and folly. We can afford to exercise the self-restraint of a really great nation which realizes its own strength and scorns to misuse it. It was our duty to offer our active assistance. It is now our duty to show what true neutrality will do to enable the people of Mexico to set their affairs in order again and wait for a further opportunity to offer our friendly counsels. The door is not closed against the resumption, either upon the initiative of Mexico or upon our own, of the effort to bring order out of the confusion by friendly co-operative action, should fortunate occasion offer.
While we wait, the contest of the rival forces will undoubtedly for a little while be sharper than ever, just because it will be plain that an end must be made of the existing situation, and that very promptly; and with the increased activity of the contending factions will come, it is to be feared, increased danger to the noncombatants in Mexico as well as to those actually in the field of battle. The position of outsiders is always particularly trying and full of hazard where there is civil strife and a whole country is upset. We should earnestly urge all Americans to leave Mexico at once, and should assist them to get away in every way possible—not because we would mean to slacken in the least our efforts to safeguard their lives and their interests, but because it is imperative that they should take no unnecessary risks when it is physically possible for them to leave the country. We should let every one who assumes to exercise authority in any part of Mexico know in the most unequivocal way that we shall vigilantly watch the fortunes of those Americans who can not get away, and shall hold those responsible for their sufferings and losses to a definite reckoning. That can be and will be made plain beyond the possibility of a misunderstanding.
For the rest, I deem it my duty to exercise the authority conferred upon me by the law of March 14, 1912, to see to it that neither side to the struggle now going on in Mexico receive any assistance from this side the border. I shall follow the best practice of nations in the matter of neutrality by forbidding the exportation of arms or munitions of war of any kind from the United States to any part of the Republic of Mexico—a policy suggested by several interesting precedents and certainly dictated by many manifest considerations of practical expediency. We can not in the circumstances be the partisans of either party to the contest that now distracts Mexico, or constitute ourselves the virtual umpire between them.
I am happy to say that several of the great Governments of the world have given this Government their generous moral support in urging upon the provisional authorities at the City of Mexico the acceptance of our proffered good offices in the spirit in which they were made. We have not acted in this matter under the ordinary principles of international obligation. All the world expects us in such circumstances to act as Mexico's nearest friend and intimate adviser. This is our immemorial relation towards her. There is nowhere any serious question that we have the moral right in the case or that we are acting in the interest of a fair settlement and of good government, not for the promotion of some selfish interest of our own. If further motive were necessary than our own good will towards a sister Republic and our own deep concern to see peace and order prevail in Central America, this consent of mankind to what we are attempting, this attitude of the great nations of the world towards what we may attempt in dealing with this distressed people at our doors, should make us feel the more solemnly bound to go to the utmost length of patience and forbearance in this painful and anxious business. The steady pressure of moral force will before many days break the barriers of pride and prejudice down, and we shall triumph as Mexico's friends sooner than we could trimph as her enemies—and how much more handsomely, with how much higher and finer satisfactions of conscience and of honor!