File No. 812.113/4094
The Secretary of State to the Governor of California
Washington , April 26, 1916 .
Sir: I am in receipt of reports to the effect that certain officials of this Government, charged with the duty of checking up shipments of munitions of war into Mexico, have stated that it is a simple matter for their efforts to be defeated by individuals purchasing arms and ammunition in small quantities and carrying them across the international line, in some obscure locality; and it appears, from the information received by me, that there is ground for suspecting that certain Mexicans in the United States have recently acquired arms and ammunition, for the purpose of taking or sending them into Mexico in an unlawful manner.
In order that the action of the appropriate Executive-Departments of the Federal Government, in endeavoring to prevent the smuggling of munitions of war into Mexico, may be as effective as possible, I have the honor to suggest, for your consideration, the advisability of your instructing the appropriate officials of your State to cooperate in every possible and proper way with the agents of the Federal Government in their efforts to prevent the illegal carrying of arms and ammunition, and other munitions of war, from the United States into Mexican territory. If you could find it consistent and practicable to carry out this suggestion, I should very much appreciate your doing so.
It may be stated, for your information, that I have been recommending to the President that permission be given for the shipment of small quantities of explosives to certain localities in Mexico for industrial purposes. The matter of permitting the exportation of shipments of explosives for industrial purposes, or of munitions of war purchased by the authorized representatives of the de facto Government of Mexico is at present passed upon by the United States customs officials, in accordance with instructions received by them, at the American ports through which such supplies are consigned to Mexico, and the plan of cooperation herein suggested, which is merely to prevent smuggling, would not be intended to obstruct legitimate shipments.
A letter similar to this is being sent to the Governors of Arizona, New Mexico and Texas; and the Secretary of the Treasury, the Attorney General and the Secretary of War, are being likewise informed, in the matter.
I have [etc.]