312.115R39/81: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Chargé in Mexico ( Summerlin )

2182. Reference previous correspondence taxation Richardson Construction Company, Sonora, and particularly Embassy’s No. 23 [423] August 22, 1917.9

Yaqui Delta Land Company owning all stock Richardson Company reports that Sonora authorities have advertised for sale August 25, for non-payment of taxes, large amount Company’s property including lands on which are situated head works and main canal of irrigation system, lands sold to various foreigners, and lands mortgaged [Page 625] to Canadian Agency, Limited, of London, and Knickerbocker Trust Company, New York; that taxes in question amount to over $350,000.00 Mexican gold, whereas under contract between Company and Sonora Government made 1909 and effective for ten years from July 1, 1910, amount actually due for taxes is $37,200.00 Mexican gold, which amount has been tendered Sonora authorities, who in pending proceedings against property are relying upon Military Governor’s Decree No. 39, March 27, 1916, attempting to annul contract in question. Embassy’s said despatch reported that Sonora authorities had been ordered to suspend all proceedings against Company pending further investigation, but no later information has been received as to attitude of Mexican Government.

Referring to previous representations pursuant Department’s instructions October 19, 1916,10 you will urgently protest against action Sonora authorities and ask that they be promptly ordered to suspend all proceedings looking to sale of Company’s property.

You will add that Government of the United States would be pleased to be promptly informed of steps taken by Mexican Government to manifest its disapproval of apparent attempt to violate solemn contractual obligations entered into between State of Sonora and Richardson Company, and you will call attention to necessity of urgent action to prevent injustice not only to Company, but to many American citizens who have purchased land from Company, as well as the mortgagees of tract advertised for sale.