to Mr. Evarts.
Mexico , February 11, 1879. (Received February 24.)
Sir: As instructed in your No. 539, of November 15 last, after delaying until the 24th ultimo in the hope of receiving an answer on the subject, on that date I addressed the Mexican foreign office a note, again calling attention to the discriminating bounty offered for the exportation of hemp (henequen) to Europe by the State government of Yucatan. In my note, of which I inclose a copy, I recited the repeated efforts which I had made to obtain some action on the part of the federal government, and referred to its singular indifference to the subject.
In a visit which I made to the foreign office a few days thereafter, I called Mr. Avila’s attention to the matter, and he said that although he was just about to leave the department he would commend the question to the preferred and early attention of his successor.
On the 7th instant the new minister, Señor Ruelas, invited me to call that day at the foreign office, which I accordingly did, when he informed me that he expected to answer my note of the 24th ultimo at once, but [Page 797] desired to see me in the mean time to say that he was desirous of attending to my note, and that he recognized the principle laid down in your first and last dispatches that such legislation as that enacted by the State of Yucatan was in violation of the treaty of 1831, and was, besides, an encroachment on the powers of the federal government, to which pertained exclusively the faculty to regulate foreign commerce. He stated, however, that the question had already been settled, as the decree granting the bounty on hemp (henequen) was only to remain in force for two years, and that it had expired by limitation.
I expressed my gratification that the minister concurred so fully in your view of the question, but I said that, in order prevent the action of the State government from becoming a precedent for the future, it would be well to convey to the governor of Yucatan the views of the federal executive on the subject, which the minister promised to do.
* * * * * * *
I am, &c.,