File No. 812.113/2268A.

The Secretary of State to the American Consular Officers at Nogales, Ciudad Juarez, Ciudad Porfirio Díaz, Nuevo Laredo, Matamoros, Tampico, and Vera Cruz.

Sir: With reference to the President’s proclamation of March 14, 1912, prohibiting the exportation of arms and munitions of war from this country to Mexico, the Department desires to call your attention to the practice followed in recommending to the President that exceptions to the proclamation be granted.

It is the object of the Department to interfere with the ordinary course of business as little as possible, and accordingly consignments of dynamite, blasting powder, blasting caps, fuses and kindred articles for the use of mines, smelters, power plants, building enterprises, harbor improvements, plantations and similar enterprises are recommended for exception whenever the information in possession of the Department. shows that conditions along the routes of travel are normal and that the consignments are likely to reach their destinations in safety. Even when consignments are intended for enterprises situated in territory completely within control of insurrectionists, the Department recommends that exceptions be granted to allow small shipments to be made from time to time, provided the consignors can give the Department convincing assurances to the effect that the shipments will not be interfered with by the insurrectionists and that they will reach their destinations in safety.

Shipments of this character are allowed to proceed to any particular locality until such time as some shipment is seized, whereupon no further shipments are excepted until it again seems safe to do so. The Department has followed this practice believing that it is better to risk having a small amount of dynamite, caps or fuses, et cetera, seized by insurrectionists, than to force a number of industrial enterprises to close, and thereby throw out of employment many workmen who, if unemployed, might go to swell the ranks of the insurrectionists or become bandits.

Shipments intended for Mexican military or civil officials are recommended for exception from the President’s proclamation upon [Page 877] assurances being received from the Mexican Embassy in this city that they are for the use of the central administration and that they will in all probability reach their destination in safety.

I am [etc.]

Mr. Bryan
Wilbur J. Carr.