File No. 812.00/17107

Consular Agent Williams to the Secretary of State


Local authorities to-day began active expropriation of all cotton stored here regardless of ownership in accordance with a decree of the First Chief, dated November 7, 1915, in effect. It says:

Where satisfactory arrangements cannot be made with the owner for the purchase by the Government of any or all cotton in the Laguna district the same will be expropriated in accordance with law of September 3, 1893, fixing such price as may be deemed just by the Secretary of Treasury. Military judges in the absence where necessary judgment of expropriation. Contracts sale or agreements made after this decree has been published will be null and void.

Price has been fixed at 1.60 paper currency pound which is to-day approximately 7⅓ cents American currency. German Consul and French Consul have protested. Spaniards have protested to me, but without definite instructions do not desire to act. Locally conditions are growing worse and general dissatisfaction with the de facto Government freely expressed by all classes.