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used which the de facto government appeared eager to import froin this country. Moreover, the policy of the de facto government in refusing to coöperate and in failing to act independently in destroying the Villa bandits and in otherwise suppressing outlawry in the vicinity of the border so as to remove the danger of war materials, while passing southward through this zone, falling into the hands of the enemies of law and order is, in the opinion of this government, a sufficient ground, even if there were no other, for the refusal to allow such materials to cross the boundary into the bandit-infested region. To have permitted these shipments without careful scrutiny would, in the circumstances, have been to manifest a sense of security which would have been unjustified.
Candor compels me to add that the unconcealed hostility of the subordinate military commanders of the de facto government toward the American troops engaged in pursuing the Villa bands and the efforts of the de facto Government to compel their withdrawal from Mexican territory by threats and show of military force instead of by aiding in the capture of the outlaws constitute a menace to the safety of the American troops and to the peace of the border. As long as this menace continues and there is any evidence of an intention on the part of the de facto government or its military commanders to use force against the American troops instead of coöperating with them, the Government of the United States will not permit munitions of war or machinery for their manufacture to be exported from this country to Mexico.
As to the shelter and supply of rebels and conspirators on American territory, I can state that vigorous efforts have been and are being made by the agents of the United States to apprehend and bring to justice all persons found to be conspiring to violate the laws of the United States by organizing to oppose with arms the de facto Government of Mexico. Political refugees have undoubtedly sought asylum in the United States, but this government has vigilantly kept them under surveillance and has not hesitated to apprehend them upon proof of their criminal intentions, as the arrest of General Huerta and others fully attests.
Having corrected the erroneous statements of fact to which I have adverted, the real situation stands forth in its true light. It is admitted that American troops have crossed the international boundary in hot pursuit of the Columbus raiders and without notice to or the consent of your government but the several protestations on the part of this government by the President, by this department, and by other American authorities, that the object of the expedition was to capture, destroy, or completely disperse the Villa bands of outlaws or to turn this duty over to the Mexican authorities when assured that it would be effectively fulfilled, have been carried out in perfect good faith by the United States. Its efforts, however, have been obstructed at every point; first, by insistence on a palpably useless agreement which you admit was either not to apply to the present expedition or was to contain impracticable restrictions on its organization and operation; then by actual opposition, encouraged and fostered by the de facto government, to the further advance of the expedition into Villa territory, which was followed by the sudden suspension of all negotiations for an arrangement for the pursuit of Villa and his followers and the protection of the frontier; and finally by a demand for the immediate withdrawal of the American troops. Meantime, conditions of anarchy in the border States of Mexico were continually growing worse. Incursions into American territory were plotted and perpetrated; the Glenn Springs raid was successfully executed, while no effective efforts were being made by General Carranza to improve the conditions and to protect American territory from constant threat of invasion. In view of this increasing menace, of the inactivity of the Carranza forces, of the lack of coöperation in the apprehension of the Villa bands, and of the known encouragement and aid given to bandit leaders, it is unreasonable to expect the United States to withdraw its forces from Mexican territory or to prevent their entry again when their presence is the only check upon further bandit outrages and the only efficient means of protecting American lives and homes--safeguards which General Carranza, though internationally obligated to supply, is manifestly unable or unwilling to give.
In view of the actual state of affairs as I have outlined it above, I am now in a position to consider the conclusions which you have drawn in your note under acknowledgment from the erroneous statements of fact which you have set forth.
Your government intimates, if it does not openly charge, that the attitude of the United States is one of insincerity, distrust, and suspicion toward the de facto Government of Mexico, and that the intention of the United States in sending its troops into Mexico is to extend its sovereignty over Mexican territory, and not merely for the purpose of pursuing marauders and preventing future raids across the border. The de facto government charges by implication which admits of but one interpretation, that this government has as its object territorial aggrandizement even at the expense of a war of aggression against a neighbor weakened by years of civil strife. The Government of the United States, if it had had designs upon the territory of Mexico, would have had no difficulty in finding during this period of revolution and disorder many plausible arguments for intervention in Mexican affairs. Hoping, however, that the people of Mexico would through their own efforts restore peace and establish an orderly government, the United States has awaited with patience the consummation of the revolution.
When the superiority of the revolutionary faction led by General Carranza became undoubted, the United States, after conferring with six others of the American Republics, recognized unconditionally the present de facto government. It hoped and expected that that government would speedily restore order and provide the Mexican people and others, who had given their energy and substance to the development of the great resources of the republic, opportunity to rebuild in peace and security their shattered fortunes.
This government has waited month after month for the consummation of its hope and expectation. In spite of increasing discouragements, in spite of repeated provocations to exercise force in the restoration of order in the northern regions of Mexico, where American interests have suffered most seriously from lawlessness, the Government of the United States has refrained from aggressive action and sought by appeals and moderate though explicit demands to impress upon the de facto government the seriousness of the situation and to arouse it to its duty to perform its international obligations toward citizens of the United States who had entered the territory of Mexico or had vested interests within its boundaries.
In the face of constantly renewed evidences of the patience and restraint of this government in circumstances which only a government imbued with unselfishness and a sincere desire to respect to the full the sovereign rights and national dignity of the Mexican people would have endured, doubts and suspicions as to the motives of the Government of the United States are expressed in your communication of May 22d, for which I can imagine no purpose but to impugn the good faith of this government for I find it hard to believe that such imputations are not universally known to be without the least shadow of justification in fact.
Can the de facto government doubt that, if the United States had turned covetous eyes on Mexican territory, it could have found many pretexts in the past for the gratification of its desire? Can that government doubt that months ago, when the war between the revolutionary factions was in progress, a much better opportunity than the present was afforded for American intervention, if such has been the purpose of the United States as the de facto government now insinuates? What motive could this government have had in refraining from taking advantage of such opportunities other than unselfish friendship for the Mexican Republic? I have of course given consideration to your argument that the responsibility for the present situation rests largely upon this government. In the first place, you state that even the American forces along the border whose attention is undivided by other military operations, “Find themselves physically unable to protect effectively the frontier on the American side.” Obviously, if there is no means of reaching bands roving on Mexican territory and making sudden dashes at night into American territory it is impossible to prevent such invasions unless the frontier is protected by a cordon of troops. No government could be expected to maintain a force of this strength along the boundary of a nation with which it is at peace for the purpose of resisting the onslaughts of a few bands of lawless men, especially when the neighboring state makes no effort to prevent these attacks. The most effective method of preventing raids of this nature, as past experience has fully demonstrated, is to visit punishment or destruction on the raiders. It is precisely this plan which the United States desires to follow along the border without any intention of infringing upon the sovereign rights of her neighbor, but which, although obviously advantageous to the de facto government, it refuses to allow or even countenance. It is in fact protection to American lives and property about which the United States is solicitous and not the methods or ways in which that protection shall be accomplished. If the Mexican Government is unwilling or unable to give this protection by preventing its territory from being the rendezvous and refuge of murderers and plunderers, that does not relieve this government from its duty to take all the steps necessary to safeguard American citizens on American soil. The United States Government can not and will not allow bands of lawless men to establish themselves upon its borders with liberty to invade and plunder American territory with impunity and, when pursued, to seek safety across the Rio Grande, relying upon the plea of their government that the integrity of the soil of the Mexican Republic must not be violated.
The Mexican Government further protests that it has “made every effort on its part to protect the frontier" and that it is doing “all possible to avoid a recurrence of such acts.” Attention is again invited to the well-known and unrestricted activity of de la Rosa, Ancieto Piscano, Pedro Vino and others in connection with border raids and to the fact that, as I am advised, up to June 4th de la Rosa was still collecting troops at Monterey for the openly avowed purpose of making attacks on Texan border towns and that Pedro Vino was recruiting at other places for the same avowed purpose. I have already pointed out the uninterrupted progress of Villa to and from Columbus, and the fact that the American forces in pursuit of the Glenn Springs marauders penetrated 168 miles into Mexican territory without encountering a single Carrancista soldier. This does not indicate that the Mexican Government is doing "all possible" to avoid further raids; and if it is doing "all possible," this is not sufficient to prevent border raids, and there is every reason, therefore, why this government must take such preventive measures as it deems sufficient.
It is suggested that injuries suffered on account of bandit raids are a matter of "pecuniary reparation" but "never the cause for American forces to invade Mexican soil.” The precedents which have been established and maintained by the Government of the Mexican Republic for the last half century do not bear out this statement. It has grown to be almost a custom not to settle depredations of bandits by payments of money alone, but to quell such disorders and to prevent such crimes by swift and sure punishment.
The de facto government finally argues that "if the frontier were duly protected from incursions from Mexico there would be no reason for the existing difficulty"; thus the de facto government attempts to absolve itself from the first duty of any government, namely, the protection of life and property. This is the paramount obligation for which governments are instituted, and governments neglecting or failing to perform it are not worthy of the name. This is the duty for which General Carranza, it must be assumed, initiated his revolution in Mexico and organized the present government and for which the United States Government recognized his government as the de facto government of Mexico. Protection of American lives and property, then, in the United States is first the obligation of this government, and in Mexico is, first, the obligation of Mexico, and second, the obligation of the United States. In securing this protection along the common boundary the United States has a right to expect the coöperation of its neighboring republic; and yet, instead of taking steps to check or punish the raiders, the