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

No. 6878

Sir: I have the honor to refer to the Embassy’s despatch 6783 of January 19, 1943,95 regarding the recruiting of agricultural laborers.

This morning I had a talk with Señor Hidalgo, who informed me that the Embassy’s note,95 of which a copy was furnished the Department under cover of despatch 6783, gave in writing the data he needed for further conversations with the Mexican Labor Department.

Señor Hidalgo said that the Labor Department was making a study with regard to the extent to which and places where agricultural labor would be available for the United States. He again referred to the probability that after the present situation was cleared up recruiting would take place in two or three other parts of the Republic.

He said he could not assure us that the number of men we wanted would be available, but said that since [once?] the data were available he would endeavor to give us an indication month by month of the number of workers who could be recruited in Mexico. In this respect he mentioned that beginning around May there would be considerable need of agricultural labor in Mexico itself.

He said that he would ask the Mexican Labor Department to act as promptly as possible in compliance with the request contained in our note.

He said that the Mexican Government “declined courteously” our informal offer to appoint a small group of “collaborators” to supervise the Mexicans in the United States who had been recruited under the cooperative program. He said that for both practical and fundamental reasons the Mexican Government did not feel it could accept our suggestion. I again reminded Señor Hidalgo that we had made this suggestion because of our familiarity with budgetary difficulties in connection with items that had not been foreseen, but that we of course did not desire to insist. Señor Hidalgo again stated that the offer was appreciated but that he and the Minister of Labor had decided that they would have to find the funds somehow and probably for a greater number than the small group I had mentioned, in view of the increased number of Mexicans who would probably be in the United States before very long.

I pointed out to Señor Hidalgo that we urgently needed a number of the workers currently being requested but that we had sought to have the requisition expedited and made as large as possible with a view to helping in the solution of the problem in Mexico City. Señor [Page 537] Hidalgo said he understood this as a cooperative action on our part and that the problem had become less acute because of the exodus of an as yet undetermined number of those who were clamoring for work.

Señor Hidalgo again offered his full cooperation to us.

Respectfully yours,

Herbert S. Bursley
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