William Howard Taft

Remarks with President Porfirio Díaz of Mexico in El Paso, Texas

October 16, 1909

President Taft: I am very glad to welcome you here, sir; I am very glad indeed.

President Diaz: I am very happy to meet you and to have the honor of being one of the first foreigners to come over to give you a hearty welcome.

President Taft: It gives me not only great pleasure to welcome the President of the great Republic of Mexico, but to welcome the present President of the Republic of Mexico, who has made it so great.

President Diaz: I am very proud to grasp the hand of the great statesman who has made such a record in his life — in the Philippines, in Cuba, and, at present, as the head of the great nation of the United States.

President Taft: I wish to express to you my belief that this meeting is looked upon by both peoples with a great deal of interest not as making stronger but as typifying the strength of the bond between the two countries.

President Diaz: My friendly relations and my personal acquaintance with you will make thousands and thousands of friends of the American and Mexican people, and streams and wonders of beneficial development will have to follow for the good of the countries.

President Taft: You have already met the Secretary of War and the Governor of Texas. I shall be glad to have the privilege of presenting to you the Postmaster General. [The Postmaster General was then presented to President Diaz.]

President Taft: I should be glad to have the privilege of meeting your staff.

[The Minister of War, General Manuel Gonzales Cosio, was thereupon presented to President Taft.]

President Taft: [addressing the Minister of War]: I have been Minister of War, and therefore I have a sympathy with you.

The Minister of War: You have been an excellent Minister of War and I have a good example in you.

President Taft: I should be very glad to have the pleasure of taking you and Governor Creel, who interprets so well and who is my personal friend, into an adjoining room for just a few moments.

[Thereupon President Taft, President Diaz, and Governor Creel retired to an adjoining room for a private interview, which lasted about fifteen minutes.]

Note: Those present at the interview were Hon. J. M. Dickinson, Secretary of War; Hon. Frank H. Hitchcock, Postmaster General; the Governor of Texas and other State officials; Captain Archibald W. Butt, U.S.A., the President's Military Aide; Mr. John Hays Hammond; Dr. J. J. Richardson; and Mr. Wendell W. Mischler and Mr. Charles C. Wagner, the President's assistant secretaries. The President of Mexico was accompanied by General Manuel Gonzales Cosio, Minister of War; Hon. Olegario Molina, Minister Fomento (Industry, Colonization, Mines and Agriculture); Governor Creel of the State of Chihuahua (formerly Ambassador to the United States); Colonel Pablos Escandon, Chief of the Military Staff of President Diaz; and Ignacio de la Barra, Private Secretary to President Diaz.

Source: Presidential Addresses and State Papers of William Howard Taft

William Howard Taft, Remarks with President Porfirio Díaz of Mexico in El Paso, Texas Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/363264

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