File No. 812.63/65.
The Acting Secretary of State to Vice Consul Coen.
Washington, April 29, 1915.
Sir: The Department has received your despatch No. 16 of April 11, 1915, transmitting a copy of the recent decree of Francisco Villa concerning the mining property in his dominion.
You say that Mr. Harold McLeod Cobb has filed a protest against the confiscatory nature of this new mining law.
Under date of April 14 , 1915, Mr. George C. Carothers, a special representative of the Department of State, was telegraphically instructed to protest against the application of the provisions of this decree to American mine owners.
A telegraphic reply has been received from Mr. Carothers, saying that he is informed that it is not the intention of the authorities who promulgated this decree to injure legitimate mining industries but to prevent the purchase of dormant mining property by speculators for profit. Mr. Carothers added that it was his intention to proceed to Chihuahua as soon as possible and discuss with the appropriate authorities the matter of changing or modifying the decree and he recommended that American mine owners make immediate representations to the Minister of Fomento in Chihuahua and procure exemption, if justified, as provided in the decree.
I am [etc.]