The British Ambassador (Howard) to the Secretary of State
My Dear Mr. Secretary: With reference to my conversation with you on Tuesday last, in which you were kind enough to inform me of the instructions which had been addressed to the United States Ambassador in Mexico in the matter of the Mexican Draft Corporation Law, I write to say that I have now received a communication from His Majesty’s Government, stating that they have instructed the British Representative in Mexico City to address verbal enquiries to the Mexican Government on similar lines to those which the United States Representative has been authorised to make. In approaching the Mexican Government, Mr. King has been told to avoid any reference to the possible attitude of His Majesty’s Government in the event of the bill in question only being intended to apply to the future. Should his enquiries elicit the information that the Mexican Government intend to give retroactive force to this legislation, Mr. King has been instructed to direct their attention to the provision in Article 14 of the Constitution, according to which, “no law may be made retroactive to the prejudice of any person”. His Majesty’s Government have also pointed out to him that he should use every endeavour to secure the amendment or withdrawal of clauses in the bill relating to foreigners, which, if given retroactive force, would have such a prejudicial effect upon the position of British subjects holding investments in industrial concerns in Mexico. He has also been instructed to keep in close touch with his United States Colleague, and with the Representatives in Mexico City of the other Governments whose nationals are affected.
Believe me [etc.]