File No. 312.51/137.
The French Ambassador to the Secretary of State.
Washington, August 23, 1915.
Mr. Secretary of State: It would seem, from certain reports forwarded by its Minister at Mexico City to the Government of the Republic, that the authorities set up at Torreon by General Villa are about to confiscate 5,500 bales of cotton worth $5,000,000 the certificate of deposit of which is filed in the French Consular Agency at that city and which are consigned to several large French firms in Mexico.
My Government would greatly desire, in the event of the confiscation taking place and the above-mentioned goods being shipped to the United States, that the border customs authorities be directed to hold them until they hear from the French consignees who are ready to pay all expenses that may be incurred.[Page 1068]
I should therefore be very thankful to your excellency if you would kindly direct an inquiry into the facts of the case, acquaint me with the result thereof and, should occasion arise, have the Federal customs officers instructed in accordance with the desire expressed by the French Government in the name and behalf of its nationals.
Be pleased [etc.]