812.6363/673: Telegram

The Consul at Tampico (Dawson) to the Secretary of State

Peláez forces are in de facto control of Port Lobos and oil loading stations and have made demand for payment to him of export tax, in advance, using as a basis average payment to the Federal Government during the last quarter and requiring answer within 72 hours and threatening reprisals if not complied with which the companies believe will be suspension of operations. Similar conditions may be expected soon in Tuxpam. American interests are, therefore, face to face with question whether to comply and thereby pay taxes to the rebels as well as the Government or suffer consequences of refusal, and appeal to the Department for a definition of its attitude. In view of the apparently endless series of troubles and the growing restlessness, employees seriously contemplating necessary cessation of shipments from Lobos and elsewhere as conditions demand unless given guarantees. Local agents are now consulting their principals on this point. Oil shipments from Lobos stations reach 2,000,000 barrels monthly now and will be 3,000,000 soon if not hindered.

Rumors reported yesterday as to Tuxpam and Panuco have not been confirmed.