811.504 Mexico/2–2146

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

No. 28,561

Sir: Reference is made to the Department’s Instruction No. 8387 of February 13, 1946, and related correspondence in connection with the desire of the Department of Agriculture to contract up to 54,000 Mexican workers during 1946 under the Agreement of April 26, 1943. A formal request was made to the Foreign Office on February 12 to this end and requesting that the prohibition of the employment of Mexican workers in certain States be eliminated or at least eased.

I now have the honor to transmit herewith a copy and translation of a Note dated February 16, 1946,91 from the Ministry for Foreign Affairs stating that the Mexican Government is agreeable to this recruiting by the Office of Labor of the Department of Agriculture provided certain conditions with respect to employment and the individual contracts are cleared between representatives of that Office and the Ministry of Labor. The Note states, however, that so far as lifting the ban on employment in certain States is concerned, that [Page 1024] “the statements made by officials and representatives of the United States published in the press of this capital yesterday and to which the Minister of Labor referred in his statement of today, lead me to the belief that the inclusion of the mentioned States will not now be possible”.93 The statement made by the Minister of Labor was transmitted to the Department with my Despatch No. 28,528 of February 18 [16], 1946.

Mr. Howard Preston, the Deputy Director, Office of Labor, Department of Agriculture, is now in Mexico and within the next few days will discuss with officials of the Ministry of Labor the necessary amendments to the Individual Work Agreement to which reference has been made. The Embassy will continue to give Mr. Preston all assistance possible to the end that his visit may be a successful one.

Respectfully yours,

George S. Messersmith
  1. Not printed.
  2. In despatch 28,675, February 27, from Mexico City, Ambassador Messersmith reported that the Embassy had received a note of February 21 from the Mexican Foreign Office in response to the Embassy’s note requesting that the ban be lifted against the States of Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Colorado. The Mexican note indicated that the sending of workers to the five states named would not be permitted, but that the 54,000 workers might be contracted. (811.504 Mexico/2–2746)