File No. 812.516/113

Special Agent Silliman to the Secretary of State


Department’s December 24, 2 p.m. Chief left Saltillo for south on twenty-second. Does Department desire that I proceed to his headquarters and take up this matter with him. In conversation with the Chief as an illustration the impossible situation that would result if the city of Saltillo, the State of Coahuila and the Republic of Mexico were required by their creditors to meet their obligations within sixty days, was used. It was suggested that the banks be allowed at least one year, better three years under the circumstances, to resume specie payment. He could not see that the illustration was apt nor would he concede that the banks should be allowed further time. He stated as before that they would be given a fair hearing. He said that he wanted to establish one only national bank of issue. It would seem apparent that the banks in simple justice should be given a reasonable time to comply with the decree, as the Department has been appealed to the case is so delicate and important that it requires our most careful cooperation and teamwork. I greatly fear that the most energetic diplomatic representations may fail of the mark. It should be borne in mind that the National Bank of Mexico is largely French capital, the Bank of London and Mexico largely British, and the state banks of issue largely Mexican and Spanish. The Chief has intimated on a number of occasions that he wished interests to make their own representations, that representations should not assume an international form until direct representations to the Mexican Government have been unsuccessful, that foreign representations should be limited to the nations of the persons making the representations. Therefore, and in view of all the circumstances, it is most respectfully suggested to the Department that a commission representing the banking interests meet the Chief and state the case fully. I could arrange the meeting, make the introductions and be of such further service as may appear appropriate. Mr. Nieto of the Department of Hacienda should be present; in the absence of Mr. Cabrera it is also respectfully suggested that Arredondo and Cabrera who I understand is in Washington should [Page 630] be fully advised of the Department’s views and that they be requested to lend their assistance in the way of advising the Chief to give a full and fair hearing to the banks and in the interests of all concerned to grant them sufficient time in which to resume specie payment.

Department’s further instruction respectfully awaited.