File No. 812.113/4158

The Acting Secretary of State to the Interstate Commerce Commission

Gentlemen: The following quotation is taken from a report dated May 8, from an American consular officer, at Piedras Negras, State of Coahuila, Mexico:3

Yesterday May 8, another car of munitions arrived in Eagle Pass consisting of 443,000 rounds of five metal patched ammunition.

[Page 792]

The car was discovered by an American noncommissioned officer in charge of inspecting cars at the Southern Pacific depot, who broke the seals in the presence of two employees of the railroad company. The commander of the American forces at Eagle Pass took charge of the car and has moved the contents to the post. The amount of ammunition now on hand at Camp Eagle Pass is approximately 1,000,000 rounds, all of which has arrived since April 1. The car containing the last shipment of ammunition had no marking as required by law, showing that it contained explosives. The shipment came from Western Cartridge Company of East Alton, Illinois.

In connection with the above-quoted statement to the effect that the car in question arrived at Eagle Pass without the marking required by law, showing that the car contained explosives, you are informed that several of the Executive Departments of the Federal Government are endeavoring to check up all shipments of munitions of war to Mexico. It is therefore respectfully requested that the report concerning this carload of munitions be investigated, with a view to ascertaining whether its shipment involved a violation of any regulation of the Interstate Commerce Commission. It is further requested that, if consistent with the regulations of your Commission, appropriate measures be taken to prevent the shipment, to points on the Mexican border, of munitions of war stored in cars that are without the markings indicating their contents.

I am [etc.]

Frank L. Polk
  1. See Political Affairs, p. 544.