File No. 812.516/124
The French Ambassador to the Secretary of State
Washington , July 20, 1916 .
Mr. Secretary of State: My Government informs me that it appears from information that has just come to it that the Mexican Government is threatening to lay a heavy monthly tax in gold on the National Bank of Mexico in which as you know a large French [Page 636] capital is invested. If the threat were carried out, it would violate Article 9 of the concession granted to the bank on May 15, 1884 and approved by the Mexican law of the 31st of the same month.
The Minister of France to Mexico has been instructed to demand of the local authorities full respect of the contract.
The question of principle and legality thus raised being one of common interest and the outcome of the predicament being of correspondingly great importance not only to foreigners holding interests in that particular bank but to all countries whose nationals hold interests in Mexico, my Government hopes that that of the United States will lend us its assistance to prevent the said threats being carried into effect. I should be very glad if I could be put in a position so to assure the Government of the Republic.
Be pleased [etc.]