812.6363/2480: Telegram

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

24. [Paraphrase.] Reference my telegram No. 23, January 12, noon. The following is a memorandum which Branch gave me today in regard to the decision rendered on January 7 by the third supernumary district judge of the Federal District in granting amparos to the Huasteca, Mexican, Tuxpan and Tamiahua oil companies. [End paraphrase.]

  • “1. The decision of the district court in favor of the Huasteca, Mexican, Tuxpan and Tamiahua petroleum companies declares unconstitutional articles 2, 4, 14 and 15 of law of December 26, 1925.
  • 2. The district court’s decision not only refers to fee properties but also to leases in the case of the Huasteca (fee and leases) and Tuxpan and Tamiahua (leases exclusively).
  • 3. The district court decision is based on the ‘jurisprudence’ of the Supreme Court in the group of five cases known generally as the Texas case.11 As is known, this ‘jurisprudence’ establishes that [Page 297] article 27 of the Constitution in the matter of petroleum is not retroactive ‘in spirit or in letter.’ The district judge holds that inasmuch as this ‘jurisprudence’ is binding on him as a Federal judge that until such time as it may be modified by the Supreme Court it binds him in his decisions.
  • 4. The effect of this district court decision is to place the properties of the four companies, both fee and leasehold, beyond the pale of articles 2, 4, 14 and 15 of the law of December 26, 1925.”

  1. See Foreign Relations, 1921, vol. ii, pp. 461 ff.; ibid., 1922, vol. ii, pp. 680681; and Estados Unidos Mexicanos, Semanario Judicial de la Federacion (Mexico, Antigua Imprenta de Murguía, 1922), quinta época, tomo x, p. 1308.