500.C115 Mexico City/4–646: Airgram

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

A–515. (1) The Workers Group has ejected from its meetings the Workers Delegate and Advisor from the Argentine and has refused to name any Argentine Worker Representative on the various Committees of the Conference.6

The Selection Committee (Steering Committee) has unanimously found the credentials of all delegations including the Argentine and Chilean Workers Delegations to be in order and has forwarded them to the Conference. It may be assumed that the Conference in Plenary Session will accept the credentials of all delegations including the Argentine and Chilean Workers Delegation. The Secretary General, the Chairman of the Governing Body and the Selection Committee have made clear that the question of approving credentials does not arise in the absence of formal protests.

(2) The Committee of Labor Relations rejected the amendment offered by the Employers restricting the right of association to social and economic ends, thus excluding political ends. As the question was purely one of association, the United States Delegation voted against the Employers amendment.

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(3) Vicente Lombardo Toledano,7 as Mexican Worker Delegate, spoke for 2 hours in the Plenary Session of April 3, on the Director’s report. Among other things he attacked the so-called Clayton Plan which he charges is intended to eliminate customs tariffs, and stated clearly his opposition to it or any similar plans. He also raised the question of racial discrimination and cited the cases of discrimination against Mexicans in the Southern United States and racial discrimination against Latin Americans and negroes in the Panama Canal Zone. The text of this speech with full English translation will be forwarded to the Department as soon as possible. It should be noted that the English translation of Lombardo’s speech provided by the Conference is condensed and omits many interesting passages.

(4) In general the technical work of the Conference is behind schedule.

The Embassy will not fail to keep the Department informed of developments.

  1. A memorandum of April 9, 1946, by T. C. Mann, Acting Chief of the Division of River Plate Affairs, indicates that an agreement was worked out whereby the Argentine workers delegate would not serve on any committee but, on the other hand, his credentials would not be challenged (500.C115 Mexico City).
  2. President of the Confederation of Workers of Latin America.