811.504 Mexico/12–3145

The Secretary of State to the Mexican Ambassador (Espinosa de los Monteros)

Excellency: I refer to the Agreement of April 29, 1943 between the Government of the United States and the Government of Mexico for the temporary migration of Mexican workers to the United States [Page 1154] for employment during the war emergency, and to discussions held in the Department of State on December 7 and 8, 1945, between His Excellency Francisco Trujillo Gurría, Mexican Minister of Labor; the Honorable Señor Don Rafael de la Colina, Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary of Mexico; other representatives of the Mexican Government; and representatives of the Department of State and the Office of Defense Transportation of the United States, regarding the repatriation of Mexican railroad workers.

It was first pointed out in the discussions that the repatriation of Mexican agricultural workers, in the United States under an Agreement of April 26, 1943, is now current with contract expirations and that all such workers, except a small number who have signed renewal contracts for that purpose, had been moved out of States of the cold zone of the United States and returned to Mexico, or transferred to employment in the southwest. It was consequently agreed that all available transportation in Mexico for the movement of returning workers should be made available for a fifteen-day period to repatriate those workers of the 38,072 railroad workers in the United States as of December 1, 1945, whose contracts have expired or are expiring as follows:

Expirations of contracts of railroad workers.
Already expired as of December 1 22,000
December 6,000
January 5,100
February 4,972
Total 38,072

The Mexican representatives having then strongly stressed the desirability and necessity of effecting the rapid and orderly repatriation of these workers, especially from the northern States in the cold zone, it was mutually agreed that the following plan, designated as plan no. 1, would be cooperatively carried out by the appropriate agencies of the two Governments and the employing railroads, as set forth therein:

Plan No. 1.—Repatriation Schedule of Mexican Railroad Workers

Date Carryover Expirations Repatriations Balance Forward
12/1 22,000 Dec. 1–20 4,000
December 6,000 * Dec. 20 to Jan. 5 12,000 12,000
1/5 12,000 Jan. 6 to Jan. 31 8–10,000 9,100
January 5,100
2/1 9,100 Feb. 1 to Feb. 28 12–15,000 2,072
February 4,972
March 1 0 to 2.072 March 1 to Balance None.
[Page 1155]

It is mutually understood that in the carrying out of the above schedule the United States Employment Service, as administrative agency under the Agreement of April 29, 1943, is authorized and instructed to mobilize first those workers whose contracts have expired in the northern or cold zone States and to move from those States all workers whose contracts have expired without reference to the time elapsed since such expiration.

It is mutually understood that after the end of the fifteen-day period, available equipment in Mexico will have to be shared again with agricultural workers, which explains why the plan outlined above does not assign to the United States Employment Service, beyond January 5, 1946, the entire capacity which the Mexican National Railways presently have devoted to the movement of workers.

It was also agreed that for the welfare of the workers and in order to insure the maximum use of railroad equipment in the United States, the repatriation of workers would be by zones, beginning with the northeast States, followed by the north central States and the northwest States. However, it was mutually understood that workers could be moved out of any zone if circumstances indicated the desirability of immediate mobilization of a group of workers for special reasons, such as exceptionally severe climatic conditions or for the purpose of taking full advantage of the schedule of trains from the border to the interior of Mexico.

The Mexican representatives expressed the opinion that the above plan should be supplemented by the furnishing of additional transportation in Mexico in order that the monthly carry-over of workers be reduced from the figures indicated in plan no. 1. They therefore proposed to make available in Mexico bus or other additional transportation from Nuevo Laredo to the point of contract and requested that workers be mobilized in the United States and delivered on schedule at Nuevo Laredo, to take advantage of such transportation. The representatives of this Government indicated their willingness to cooperate in this additional movement. It was pointed out and mutually accepted that workers would have to be moved to the border for such transportation in trainloads of approximately 800 workers and that there were no facilities available at the border for their housing, making it essential that the busses provided be on hand and ready to move the entire trainload without delay. It was further agreed that the employers of the Mexican workers could not be made liable for such transportation for a sum per individual worker greater than that provided for the movement by train under plan no. 1 and for the usual subsistence allowance for a period no greater than that allowed for movement by train. With these conditions in mind, it is my understanding that the Mexican representatives advised that they would provide busses sufficient to accept a trainload of workers at Nuevo Laredo every four days, beginning December 26, 1945, and stated that the immediately successive movements would be on December 30, 1945, and January 3, 7, 11, and so forth, until further [Page 1156] notice. It was stressed that the delivery of workers by train at the border should be by daylight as important in the effecting of border clearances and the transfer of workers from train to busses. The representatives of this Government stressed that the delivery of a trainload of workers to Nuevo Laredo to meet this schedule required at least fifteen days of advance notice, and it was agreed that this Government would be promptly notified of any developments which made it necessary to modify this schedule in any way.

I shall appreciate your confirmation, at the earliest possible moment, of the terms of the understanding reached in the discussions under reference between the representatives of Mexico and the representatives of the United States as set forth above.

I take this opportunity to assure Your Excellency of the great appreciation which this Government has for the fine and important services which these Mexican workers have performed on the railroads of the United States during the war emergency. It has been an important contribution to the war effort of the United Nations in which our Governments have been allied.

Accept [etc.]

For the Secretary of State:
Dean Acheson
  1. This expedited movement is premised on the understanding that the Mexican Government will instruct the Mexican National Railways to devote all equipment presently assigned to the movement of workers to the movement of railroad workers. [Footnote in the original.]
  2. Lower figures used in each instance although every effort will be made to reach the larger figure. [Footnote in the original.]
  3. Lower figures used in each instance although every effort will be made to reach the larger figure. [Footnote in the original.]