812.00/15751a: Telegram

The Secretary of State to President Wilson

The following message is being sent to Secretary Houston at Woods Hole, Mass.:

“It is proposed that there be established under military decree in the State of Chihuahua, Mexico, a system of meat inspection embracing the vital and substantial features of the United States Meat Inspection Law and that qualified American veterinarians, approved by your Department will direct the slaughtering of the animals, the inspection of the meats, and will conform in all particulars with the regulations of your Department in order to institute and maintain the efficient [Page 546] and sanitary operation of the plant. These qualified American veterinarians will be under the direction and supervision of an American veterinarian designated by you, and who will be officially appointed by the Chihuahua authorities. If this is done, will you permit entry into the United States from Juarez of meats so prepared when certified as required by your import regulations? This is a matter of profound importance at the present time when this Government is bending every effort to terminate the chaotic conditions in Mexico. The acquiescence on your part to this plan enabling the operation of the Juarez Packing Plant, even though it be but a temporary arrangement, will remove the greatest obstacle confronting the Department of State in reaching the results so much desired by the President. The military decree mentioned is the only form of law existing in Mexico today, and is identical to the decrees issued in the Philippines, Porto Rico, and Cuba, during the military occupations of those countries, and which were recognized by this Government.”

The situation in northern Mexico caused by the desperation of Villa to maintain himself financially has resulted in arbitrary demands by him, and the solution offered in the message above quoted will give Villa legal means to dispose of cattle he has in the vicinity of Juarez, and will offer immediate relief to his strained financial condition. Would it not be well for you to communicate with Secretary Houston?

Robert Lansing