812.52/636: Telegram

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

73. Your despatch 3878, May 14, Agrarian Bill.

Consideration bill reveals its ambiguity in important respects, for instance, provision for payment for fixing value of improvements and for preserving rights of creditors.

Article 22 gives property owner only 10 days in which to report whether he consents to sub-division. This would be entirely inadequate in case the owner resided at a place remote from affected lands or outside Mexico.

Article 46 apparently assumes to attempt to penalize owners for resorting to remedies they may have under existing laws.

Compensation provided is inadequate since only tax valuation plus 10 per cent is to be paid and that in bonds of National Agrarian Debt, payable in Mexico and in Mexican money, which would seemingly have small market value and owners of which would be remediless in case of default, except through diplomatic channel and would be exposed to danger of being compelled to accept payment in depreciated fiat money.

Measure does not meet provision for protecting owners in expropriation proceedings, which prevail in United States and generally as in accordance with justice and equity.

Communicate foregoing to appropriate authorities on behalf of interested American citizens and make strong informal protest against passage of measure in present form.

Hughes