The Ambassador in Panama ( Hines ) to the Secretary of State

No. 1921

Sir: As of possible interest to the Department, I have the honor to report that Governor J. C. Mehaffey of the Canal Zone announced on Saturday, July 6, 1946, an increase in rates of pay for virtually all [Page 1159] silver employees of The Panama Canal and Panama Railroad Company, to be effective July 1, 1946. Some 20,000 Canal and Railroad employees will benefit from the pay increase which will add approximately $1,500,000 annually to the Canal payrolls.

There is attached herewith a copy of the press report86 given to The Panama American for publication on Saturday, July 6, 1946. In a conversation with Governor Mehaffey on Sunday evening, July 7, I was informed that in substance the statement as published in The Panama American is correct.

In this connection I am pleased to express the view that the action of the Governor, coming as it does on the eve of discussions with the Panamanian Government in connection with discrimination in the Canal Zone as alleged by the Panamanian Government and the Panamanian labor representatives at a recent labor conference held in Mexico City, may be of some assistance to the Embassy in attempting to show that the Canal Zone government has in mind the improvement of wage conditions of those on the so-called silver roll.

Respectfully yours,

Frank T. Hines
  1. Not reprinted.