The Ambassador in Mexico ( Messersmith ) to the Secretary of State
[Received April 29—5 a.m.]
416. Reference McGurk’s letter to McGregor11 of April 27 and Embassy’s airgram no. 914, February [April] 23, 11 a.m., 1943.12 Hewes departed Mexico City for conference in Salt Lake City today. Matter was discussed with him prior to departure and this afternoon with Brown local FSA13 representative. Neither Hewes nor Brown object to using present staff to recruit non-agricultural labor but the situation described in airgram under reference should be borne in mind. Total train capacity as Board worked out for May is at present 7000. Total recruiting possibilities on basis of 24–day month and 500 per day is 12,000. Taking care of Agriculture’s requirements of 7000 workers during May a balance of 5000 non-Agricultural workers can be recruited with present recruiting force during May.
The Embassy is satisfied that the Mexican Railways have arranged to place maximum equipment at disposition FSA during May. Therefore if War Manpower branch expects 5000 during May and does not desire to interrupt scheduled flow of agricultural workers it should arrange with Office of Defense Transportation to furnish American rolling stock for transportation of industrial workers. Neither the Mexican Government nor the Embassy has any objection to the employment of American railroad equipment but Mr. Tello14 of Foreign Office explained this evening that the Mexican Government desires a complete outline of the schedule under which such U.S. equipment would be moved into and out of Mexico. At such time as this information is made available the Embassy will endeavor to secure from the Mexican Government the undertaking mentioned in the Department’s airmail instruction no. 2645 of February 18, 1943.15