Mr. William Phillips
My dear Mr. Phillips:
Knowing that you and our other friends in the United States wish to know something of the hopes and aspirations and plans and purposes and policies of the Constitutionalist Party in Mexico, I take pleasure in making answer to your several inquiries addressed to me, from time to time, with all candor and with personal knowledge that the statements made here are in accord with the views of General Carranza and most of his associate leaders, and let me do this in separate paragraphs.
The Alleged Apparent Distrust in Mexico of the United States
So far as I am aware, there exists no general distirust of, or unfriendliness toward, the United States among the intelligent, educated classes, although there is some, even among such classes, but limited to a very few, and not of a serious character. The cases which have occurred lately of apparent rebuff of the proffered good offices of the United States were caused by what might be called political exigencies, growing out of the fact that Huerta and his superiors made much of the claim that they stood for the sovereignty of Mexico, and were, therefore, the champions of the independence of Mexico, claiming, at the same time, that the Constitutionalists were in connivance with the United States. A recurrence of such a rebuff in the future, under the circumstances, would be impossible.
The Attitude of the Constitutionalists toward the Furnishing of Relief by the United States in Case of Famine in Mexico
Assuming that it is possible, or even probable, that famine may, to some extent, be experienced in the early fall, relief furnished by the people of the United States, or other countries to all parties and classes could not possibly be construed by the cConstitutionalist Party as other than an act of humanity and generous philanthropy.
ThirdTreatment of Prisoners of War and General Observance of the Rules of Civilized WarfareWhile it may be conceded that there have been instances of too much violence and excess on the part of the revolutionists, or Constitutionalists, it may be said in extenuation, if not in justification, of such instances that they were by way of retaliation for much greater violence and much more frequent occurrences by the opposition party in the revolution; that they were done by way of retaliation in part, and in part for the purpose of striking terror to the enemies of constitutional freedom in Mexico. But be this as it may, I can assure you that these occurrences are growing more and more infrequent, and that there is a determined purpose on the part of General Carranza and his lieutenants to observe, so far as may be practicable, the rules of warfare recognized and observed by the enlightened nations of the world. I have talked with Generals Carranza and Villa, and others, on this subject, and if there has been any just complaint on this score in the past, there will be little or notjustification for it in the future. FourthDefiniteness of Purpose on the Part of the Constitutionalists,with Special Reference to the Preservation of the TerritorialDomain of MexicoThe report has persistently been circulated from time to time for months past that it is the real purpose of the Constitutionalists to separate Northern and Southern Mexico, and, by a kind of enforced secession, establish a republic composed of the northern group of states, establishing at some convenient point a capital for the new republic, with the south of Mexico as a republic left to itself. I beg to tell you that this rumor is baseless. The revolution is being prosecuted by the Constitutionalist Party on what is known as “The Plan of Guadalupe,” which has for its central purpose the rescue of the whole of the Republic of Mexico from the esxisting conditions, and preserving at all cost the integrity of the republic.
FifthMonetary Support of the Constitutionalist PartyLet me state it as a fact that the Constitutionalist side of the revolution has drawn its support from the resources of friends of the revolution within Mexico and from citizens of Mexico, and no contributions, so far as I have been able to ascertain, of any moment or consequence, have been accepted from Americans, or other foreigners temporarily residing or doing business within the republic. The Constitutionalist Party has made, up to this date, no entangling or material alliances with any person or persons, corporation or corporations whatever, and with equal emphasis, I may add that there will be no material change in the policy of the party in this regard.
SixthThe Civil Policy of the ConstitutionalistsThe chief evils from which our people are now suffering, and have for decades suffered, grow out of landlordism, corrupt and iniquitous concessions, and a general policy of enriching the rich at the expense of still further impoverishing the poor; but notwithstanding this, the civil policy of the Constitutionalists will be to accomplish the needed—and it may be radical—reforms by constitutional and legal methods, respecting at all times the rights of property, the upholding of just and equitable concessions, the observance of contract rights, and opposing confiscation and anarchy.
I shall address to you in a few days a further communication on this subject, answering particularly other of your important inquiries. I shall postpone the writing of this second letter until I have confirmed my own views by direct communication with General Carranza.
Very sincerely yours,