File No. 812.63/371
The Secretary of State to Ambassador Fletcher
Washington, February 24, 1917, 1 p.m.
8. Your 2. Department desires you to make immediate representations to the de facto Government, pointing out the serious situation confronting American mine owners in Mexico, as set forth in Department’s 441, 541 and 613, to Parker. You will add that, in view of the great demand for metals and the high prices prevailing, it should not be necessary for this Government to point out that American mining companies need no urging to resume operations, immediately upon return of normal conditions; that this Government is anxious to lend its assistance, to the end that the mining industry may be rehabilitated at an early date; that, with this purpose in view, this Government invites the de facto Government to submit a list of mining districts which, in its opinion, enjoy the necessary facilities, including military protection and adequate transportation, to make resumption of work possible, in order that this Government may be enabled to advise American mining men intelligently; that, in view of the foregoing, the decree of September 14 should be annulled, upon the understanding that both Governments shall agree to exert their best efforts to have the mines reopened wherever facilities permit and work can be resumed without endangering American lives.
You will express the hope that the plan herein proposed may be given prompt and serious consideration and that the action suggested may meet with favor, to the end that foreign owners of mines in Mexico may be assured that the drastic decrees of September 14 and February 16 will be withdrawn.
Finally, Department suggests that you discuss this matter, as soon as possible, with Minister for Foreign Affairs or General Carranza, for the purpose of ascertaining what the future Mexican policy will be with reference to resuming work in mines and for the further purpose of impressing upon him the advisability of complying with this Government’s suggestions as outlined in these and previous representations in the premises.