File No. 812.512/750.
Consul Guyant to the Secretary of State.
Ensenada, July 27, 1915.
Sir: Referring to previous despatches from this Consulate on the subject of mining taxes in Lower California, I have the honor to advise the Department that, seizing the opportunity of Colonel Cantú’s presence in Ensenada yesterday, I threshed out the whole matter with him and have succeeded in having the tax of $2 U. S. gold per pertinencia reduced to its former dimensions of 2 pesos, or $1 U. S. gold. As the Department knows, this tax was doubled during the régime of General Huerta, and the law increasing the tax was among those Huerta measures later disavowed by the Convention Government. Although Colonel Cantú gives allegiance to the Convention or Villa Government and enforces its decrees, the tax officials continued to collect the double tax in this district. When it was ascertained by certain mine owners that this tax had been reduced in other parts of Mexico under the control of the Convention Government they made complaints which resulted in their being permitted to make payment to the central Villa Government. In their complaints, however, they unfortunately made charges against the motives and integrity of Colonel Cantú, causing him some embarrassment with his superiors and making it necessary to defend himself against the charge of being a Huertista. This had engendered on his part a very cordial animosity toward the mine owners of this district, particularly as he was entertaining the false impression that they were all leagued together to force him to reduce the tax, or failing this, to encompass his overthrow. After some difficulty, [Page 977]however, I convinced him that his understanding of the situation was faulty, and secured the issuance of an order to the tax collector to allow mine owners to pay their taxes on the old basis in force before the advent of the revolution, which, I am informed, is in accord with the decrees of the Villa Government. Colonel Cantú has also agreed to desist from any contemplated acts of retaliation against what he conceived were attempts of the mine owners to undermine his standing with his superiors.
I have notified as many of the American owners of mines in this District as I could reach.
I have [etc.]