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

No. 10662

Sir: I have the honor to refer to the Department’s airmail instruction No. 3423 of June 5, 194328 stating that a number of industrial [Page 555] employers of relatively small groups of workers in the United States are continually approaching the Department and other interested agencies with a view to securing workers from Mexico. It is added that the Department understands that any movement of Mexican workers to the United States outside of the work Agreements between the two Governments is opposed by the Mexican Government. The Embassy’s comments concerning such an understanding are desired.

The Mexican Government has made it clear both in discussions leading up to the Agreements and in connection with the implementation of the Agreements that it is firmly and unalterably opposed to Mexican workers proceeding to the United States except under the strict terms of the Agreements. The Mexican Government recalls most vividly the situation which was allowed to develop during the last war when thousands of Mexican workers crossed into the United States without any guarantees. For many years following the war the Mexican Government was forced to defray the cost of repatriation of these citizens who, when the market no longer existed in the United States, became unemployed, impoverished, and destitute. The Mexican Government has no intention of allowing a similar situation to develop and, therefore, would naturally be opposed to any situation which did not foresee the granting of full guarantees to Mexican workers.

At the time when negotiations for the non-agricultural Agreement were started it was agreed by those participating in the discussions that it would be best to so phrase the over-all agreement as to make it applicable to various types of non-agricultural workers. Although at that time the urgent demand was for track workers, it was none the less made clear to the Mexican Government that there might be a need for non-ferrous mine workers working in open pits. However, the stress was always laid on the fact that unskilled labor was desired. As the Department is aware the 6,000 non-agricultural workers, the need for which has been certified, will have been contracted by June 15 and the Embassy is anxiously awaiting further certifications in order that there may be no gap in recruiting of this type of labor. The Department has already informed the Embassy that one of the certifications which will be sent shortly is for 1,000 non-ferrous mine workers. Since the Mexican Government has not so far formally agreed to sending mine workers it will be necessary to secure its assent. The Embassy, therefore, feels that the matter mentioned in the Department’s instruction No. 3423 under acknowledgment of the sending of workers outside the Agreements for certain specified industrial work is better left unmentioned so far as the Mexican Government [Page 556] is concerned or at least until the Embassy has obtained its consent to the recruiting of mine workers.

Respectfully yours,

For the Ambassador:
Herbert S. Bursley

Counselor of Embassy
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