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in the field on the part of the de facto government, despite repeated requests by the United States, and without apparent recognition on its part of the desirability of putting an end to these systematic raids, or of punishing the chief perpetrators of the crimes committed, because they menaced the good relations of the two countries, American forces pursued the lawless bands as far as Parral, where the pursuit was halted by the hostility of Mexicans, presumed to be loyal to the de facto government, who arrayed themselves on the side of outlawry and became in effect the protectors of Villa and his band.
In this manner and for these reasons have the American forces entered Mexican territory. Knowing fully the circumstances set forth the de facto government cannot be blind to the necessity which compelled this government to act and yet it has seen fit to recite groundless sentiments of hostility toward the expedition and to impute to this government ulterior motives for the continued presence of American troops on Mexican soil. It is charged that these troops crossed the frontier without first obtaining the consent or permission of the de facto government. Obviously, as immediate action alone could avail, there was no opportunity to reach an agreement (other than that of March 10th13th now repudiated by General Carranza) prior to the entrance of such an expedition into Mexico if the expedition was to be effective. Subsequent events and correspondence have demonstrated to the satisfaction of this government that General Carranza would not have entered into any agreement providing for an effective plan for the capture and destruction of the Villa bands. While the American troops were moving rapidly southward in pursuit of the raiders, it was the form and nature of the agreement that occupied the attention of General Carranza rather than the practical object which it was to attain—the number of limitations that could be imposed upon the American forces to impede their progress rather than the obstacles that could be raised to prevent the escape of the outlaws. It was General Carranza who suspended through your note of April 12th all discussions and negotiations for an agreement along the lines of the protocols between the United States and Mexico concluded during the period 1882–1896, under which the two countries had so successfully restored peaceful conditions on their common boundary. It may be mentioned here that, notwithstanding the statement in your note that “the American Government gave no answer to the note of the 12th of April,” this note was replied to on April 14th, when the Department instructed Mr. Rodgers by telegraph to deliver this Government's answer to General Carranza. Shortly after this reply the conferences between Generals Scott, Funston and Obregon began at El Paso, during which they signed on May 2d a project of a memorandum ad referendum regarding the withdrawal of American troops. As an indication of the alleged bad faith of the American Government, you state that though General Scott declared in this memorandum that the destruction and dispersion of the Villa band “had been accomplished,” yet American forces are not withdrawn from Mexico. It is only necessary to read the memorandum, which is in the English language, to ascertain that this is clearly a misstatement, for the memorandum states that "the American punitive expeditionary forces have destroyed or dispersed many of the lawless elements and bandits, * or have driven them far into the interior of the Republic of Mexico," and further, that the United States forces were then “carrying on a vigorous pursuit of such small numbers of bandits or lawless elements as may have escaped.” The context of your note gives the impression that the object of the expedition being admittedly accomplished, the United States had agreed in the memorandum to begin the withdrawal of its troops. The memorandum shows, however, that it was not alone on account of partial dispersion of the bandits that it was decided to begin the withdrawal of American forces, but equally on account of the assurances of the Mexican Government that their forces were “at the present time being augmented and strengthened to such an extent that they will be able to prevent any disorders occurring in Mexico that would in any way endanger American territory," and that they would "continue to diligently pursue, capture or destroy any lawless bands of bandits that may still exist or hereafter exist in the northern part of Mexico," and that it would “make a proper distribution of such of its forces as may be necessary to prevent the possibility of invasion of American territory from Mexico.” It was because of these assurances and because of General Scott's confidence that they would be carried out that he stated in the memorandum that the American forces would be “gradually withdrawn.” It is to be noted that, while the American Government was willing to ratify this agreement, General Carranza refused to do so, as General Obregon stated, because, among other things, it imposed improper conditions upon the Mexican Government.
Notwithstanding the assurances in the memorandum, it is well known that the forces of the de facto government have not carried on a vigorous pursuit of the remaining bandits and that no proper distribution of forces to prevent the invasion of American territory has been made, as will be shown by the further facts hereinafter set forth. I am reluctant to be forced to the conclusion which might be drawn from these circumstances that the de facto government, in spite of the crimes committed and the sinister designs of Villa and his followers, did not and does not now intend or desire that these outlaws should be captured, destroyed, or dispersed by American troops or, at the request of this government, by Mexican troops.
While the conferences at El Paso were in progress, and after the American conferees had been assured on May 2d that the Mexican forces in the northern part of the republic were then being augmented so as to be able to prevent any disorders that would endanger American territory, a band of Mexicans, on the night of May 5th, made an attack at Glenn Springs, Texas, about twenty miles north of the border, killing American soldiers and civilians, burning and sacking property and carrying off two Americans as prisoners. Subsequent to this event, the Mexican Government, as you state, "gave instructions to General Obregon to notify that of the United States that it would not permit the further passage of American troops into Mexico on this account, and that orders had been given to all military commanders along the frontier not to consent to same.” This government is of course not in a position to dispute the statement that these instructions had been given to General Obregon, but it can decisively assert that General Obregon never gave any such notification to General Scott or General Funston or, so far as known, to any other American official. General Obregon did, however, inquire as to whether American troops had entered Mexico in pursuit of the Glenn Springs raiders, and General Funston stated that no orders had been issued to American troops to cross the frontier on account of the raid, but this statement was made before any such orders had been issued, and not afterwards, as the erroneous account of the interview given in your note would appear to indicate. Moreover, no statement was made by the American generals that “no more American troops would cross into our territory.” On the contrary, it was pointed out to General Obregon and to Mr. Juan Amador, who was present at the conference, and pointed out with emphasis, that the bandits de la Rosa and Pedro Vino, who had been instrumental in causing the invasion of Texas above Brownsville, were even then reported to be arranging in the neighborhood of Victoria for another raid across the border, and it was made clear to General Obregon that if the Mexican Government did not take immediate steps to prevent another invasion of the United States by these marauders, who were frequently seen in the company of General Nafarrete, the Constitutionalist commander, Mexico would find in Tamaulipas another punitive expedition similar to that then in Chihuahua. American troops crossed into Mexico on May 10th, upon notification to the local military authorities, under the repudiated agreement of March 10-13th, or in any event in accordance with the practice adopted over forty years ago, when there was no agreement regarding pursuit of marauders across the international boundary. These troops penetrated 168 miles into Mexican territory in pursuit of the Glenn Springs marauders without encountering a detachment of Mexican troops or a single Mexican soldier. Further discussion of this raid, however, is not necessary, because the American forces sent in pursuit of the bandits recrossed into Texas on the morning of May 22d, the date of your note under consideration-a further proof of the singleness of purpose of this government in endeavoring to quell disorder and stamp out lawlessness along the border.
During the continuance of the El Paso conferences, General Scott, you assert, did not take into consideration the plan proposed by the Mexican Government for the protection of the frontier by the reciprocal distribution of troops along the boundary. This proposition was made by General Obregon a number of times, but each time conditioned upon the immediate withdrawal of American troops, and the Mexican conferees were invariably informed that immediate withdrawal could not take place, and that therefore it was impossible to discuss the project on that basis.
I have noted the fact that your communication is not limited to a discussion of the deplorable conditions existing along the border and their important bearing on the peaceful relations of our governments, but that an effort is made to connect it with other circumstances in order to support, if possible, a mistaken interpretation of the attitude of the Government of the United States toward Mexico. You state in effect that the American Government has placed every obstacle in the way of attaining the pacification of Mexico, and that this is shown by the volume of diplomatic representations in behalf of American interests which constantly impede efforts to reorganize the political, economical, and social conditions of the country; by the decided aid lent at one time to Villa by American officers and by the Department of State; by the aid extended by the American Catholic clergy to that of Mexico; by the constant activity of the American press in favor of intervention and the interests of American business men; by the shelter and supply of rebels and conspirators on American territory; by the detention of shipments of arms and munitions purchased by the Mexican Government; and by the detention of machinery intended for their manufacture.
In reply to this sweeping charge, I can truthfully affirm that the American Government has given every possible encouragement to the de facto government in the pacification and rehabilitation of Mexico. From the moment of its recognition, it has had the undivided support of this government. An embargo was placed upon arms and ammunition going into Chihuahua, Sonora, and Lower California, in order to prevent their falling into the hands of the armed opponents of the de facto government. Permission has been granted from time to time, as requested, for Mexican troops and equipment to traverse American territory from one point to another in Mexico in order that the operations of Mexican troops against Villa and his forces might be facilitated. In view of these friendly acts, I am surprised that the de facto government has construed diplomatic representations in regard to the unjust treatment accorded American interests, private assistance to opponents to the de facto government by sympathizers in a foreign country, and the activity of a foreign press as interference by the United States Government in the domestic politics of Mexico. If a denial is needed that this government has had ulterior and improper motives in its diplomatic representations, or has countenanced the activities of American sympathizers and the American press opposed to the de facto government, I am glad most emphatically to deny it. It is, however, a matter of common knowledge that the Mexican press has been more active than the press in the United States in endeavoring to inflame the two peoples against each other and to force the two countries into hostilities. With the power of censorship of the Mexican press, so rigorously exercised by the de facto government, the responsibility for this activity cannot, it would seem, be avoided by that government, and the issue of the appeal of General Carranza himself in the press of March 12th, calling upon the Mexican people to be prepared for any emergency which might arise, and intimating that war with the United States was imminent, evidences the attitude of the de facto government toward these publications. It should not be a matter of surprise that, after such manifestations of hostile feeling, the United States was doubtful of the purpose for which the large amount of ammunition was to be