File No. 812.516/121

The French Ambassador to the Secretary of State


Mr. Secretary of State: By your unofficial note of the 6th of January last2 your excellency was pleased to give me the text of a telegram from Mr. Silliman dated the 1st of the same month in Querétaro and relating to the condition of the banks of issue in Mexico.

It said that the Undersecretary of Hacienda of the de facto Government had declared to the representative of the Federal Government that utter misapprehension had long been standing in regard to those banks but that a decree was being drafted and would be signed at an early date by the Chief of the Executive Power, granting them two years during which they should not be compelled to redeem their notes in coin and allowing them to refuse, during the same period, to accept payment in depreciated paper money of debts growing out of contracts calling for payment in foreign currency or Mexican silver.

My Government to which I took pains to report the assurances thus given Mr. Silliman appreciated them to their full value and wishes me to apply to your excellency and obtain of the Federal Government that it urge upon General Carranza the earliest possible fulfilment of the promises made in January to your agent and thus far unredeemed.

The National Bank of Mexico and the London and Mexico Bank whose capital is almost exclusively French are, as a matter of fact, placed in a most critical position on account of their being compelled, by reason of the failure to publish the above-mentioned decree, to accept payments in paper money that is steadily falling and at the same time to redeem their notes in silver.

Your excellency would oblige me by enabling me to report to the Government of the Republic that you kindly directed, as I hope you will, that the steps which such a condition of affairs so urgently demand be taken with General Carranza.

Be pleased to accept [etc.]

  1. Not printed.