811.504/2293a: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Mexico ( Messersmith )

848. Reference telephone conversation May 24, 1943, between Mr. Long27 and Mr. Bursley. At a further meeting today on the securing of agricultural workers from Mexico, the representative of the Immigration Service stated that in view of the exceptions taken by the Mexican Government to the admission of Mexican agricultural workers on an individual basis under Public Law 45, the Attorney General would issue appropriate instructions to limit the movement of Mexican workers to the United States to those covered by existing agreements.

The representatives of the War Food Administration then stressed the urgency of immediately increasing the flow of workers under the agricultural agreement, and asked the Department to approach the Mexican Government to request:

That a selecting and contracting center be opened in Guadalajara as soon as possible to which the contracting of railroad workers would be transferred, and with a view of concentrating the transportation of such workers to the Southern Pacific Railroad, leaving the facilities of the National Railways available for agricultural workers;
That facilities in Mexico City be increased especially as to transportation to permit a more rapid flow of agricultural workers to the United States;
That agreement in principle be given to increasing the 1943 estimate of 50,000 Mexican agricultural workers by 25,000;
That the facilities for contracting at Guadalajara be dedicated to the supplying of agricultural workers whenever those facilities are not engaged in the contracting of non-agricultural workers.

In regard to items a and d above, it is the understanding of the Department that the contracting of the 6,000 non-agricultural workers agreed upon will be completed on June 9, probably before a selecting center can be set up at Guadalajara. However, the War Manpower Commission has informally stated that it is preparing to request the Department to transmit to the Mexican Government a request for 2,000 more railroad workers and 1,000 unskilled non-ferrous mine workers. The War Food Administration has stated that it will supervise the selecting of workers under both agreements at Guadalajara as is now the case in Mexico City.

You are authorized to inform the Mexican Foreign Office of the above-mentioned assurance given by the Department of Justice, and at the same time to present the requests made by the War Food Administration on an urgent basis. Please keep the Department informed by telegram.

  1. Breckinridge Long, Assistant Secretary of State.