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which the Mexican government chose to back up its Constitution in diplomatic conversations or otherwise.

The general clause of confiscation embodied in the same article says furthermore:

"All contracts and concessions made by former governments from and after the year 1876, which shall have resulted in the monopoly of land, waters, and natural resources of the nation by a single individual or corporation, are declared subject to revision, and the executive is authorized to declare those null and void which seriously prejudice the public interests."

When it is remembered that the greater part of the industrial development of Mexico, and most of the exploitation of natural resources, have been brought about by transfers since 1876, it will be seen that the entire economic situation in the country is dependent, not upon rules of equity or the decisions of courts of justice, but upon the vicissitudes of executive will and opinion. What an executive may consider as monopoly, or what may be deemed an injury to the public is thus likely to be a matter of changing opinion which is certain to make investments for long terms of large sums of capital somewhat hazardous, whether the question is raised concerning Mexicans or foreigners. As a matter of fact, enormous properties which were embargoed during the first two years of the revolution have been offered and advertised by the Department of Hacienda for return to their lawful owners. Many of these have as yet declined to come forward to reassume proprietorship, because of varying considerations. It may be safely asserted that this constitutional provision is one of the most potent causes of the feeling of hesitancy and uncertainty which pervades property-owning classes throughout the republic. The benevolent attitude of the present government toward vested rights will require the enactment of constitutional provisions guaranteeing the stability of property rights before an epoch of settled development is likely to return to the republic. At the same time it must be remembered that inveterate wrongs in property relationships are the direct cause of this attempt at remedial legislation. Those persons who believe that a simple return to the conditions and policies of the Diaz régime will satisfy the nation's demands for social progress and political stability are self-deceived. The attempt of the revolution to remedy old wrongs and to create opportunity for the development of the masses was the result of a genuine aspiration on the part of many sincere Mexicans. That the policy has been largely vitiated by impractical legislation intended to produce "the greatest good to the greatest number," and that the administrative machinery has been clogged by the dishonesty of certain civil and military officers whose egoism has defeated the purposes of the revolution, do not constitute proof that there is no social

movement in Mexico. The radicalism of reformers and the peculations of politicians will inevitably give way to respect for life and property and bring about a development of just conditions rather than a return to old abuses.

The Position of Religion under the revolutionary governments has created wide interest. Outside of the small fraction of the population now in control of the government, and indeed very largely even within that group, the citizens of Mexico are preponderantly religious. The anti-clericalism of the last two régimes. has been directed against social and economic abuses which characterize the church in Mexico, rather than against religion as a dominant social force. The people of Mexico are essentially Roman Catholic, but the determination to effect the utter separation of the church from economic and political control is as strong as the language of the Constitution. This does, however, prohibit the normal functioning of the church as a spiritual guide to the people except by governmental tolerance, which is too prone to be variable from administration to administration. The inabilities to own properties, and to carry on religious work, which theoretically limit the activities not only of the Catholics, but of Protestant missions in Mexico, create another situation in which progress in social work among the middle classes is dependent upon executive clemency. It is true that generous appreciation of the work of the Protestant missions has characterized the governmental attitude during recent years, and it is likely that this attitude will be permanent, and that the influence of the mission work will increase in proportion as the service lends itself to education in hygiene, sanitation, agriculture, and elements of culture rather than in religious discipline. There is every reason for generous cooperation of all religious bodies of whatever faith in the work of improving standards of life and living among the masses.

The Status of Labor is unique under the actual government. The social tradition from time immemorial has been that of sharp contrast, abysmal cleavage, between the privileged few and the submerged masses. Independence, the constant declination of the pendulum toward radicalism, toward the inauguration of untried political nostrums, toward the newest extreme in the most recent ultra-liberal theory, have as yet made little headway against this unfortunate social cleavage. But the present Constitution makes a desperate effort to correct the evil, with results that are as yet disturbing to the social organization and the economic outlook. The provisions of the fundamental law on labor are dangerous, not so much because of the ideals sought, as because of lack of discrimination in details or of wisdom in methods employed. Some of these provisions are admirable in spirit. For instance, eight hours is the maximum day's work, seven the

maximum for night work. Special protection is provided for women and children laborers; rest and recuperation periods are prescribed for women in parturition. These provisions are to apply not only in factories, but in domestic work. The minimum wage is set at the level of subsistence for a head of a family. Participation in profits is made a constitutional prerogative of labor. Where effort has been made, as in Vera Cruz, to apply this rule by state law, the results have been to discourage and exile capital. Extra-time work commands double wages. Many employers must provide comfortable, sanitary houses, pay wages in cash, establish schools, dispensaries, and markets, and places of amusement. Accidents must be forefended, and compensation made for those which occur. Liberal legalization is granted to strikes devoid of violence. Arbitration of disputes gives large balance of advantage to workingmen. In short, the Constitution attempts to legislate the laboring classes into a suitable standard of living in every conceivable respect. Unfortunately government fiat alone cannot create social conditions. Many of the provisions of the Constitution safeguarding the rights of labor cannot be enforced for years to come. But the laboring classes have undergone a general upheaval during the past years of revolution, and their aspirations, as voiced by their leaders, some of whom have high seats in the government of today, are by no means bounded by their theoretical constitutional guarantees. A social ferment has been started, fed upon real wrongs, which seeks redress in ways dangerous to the stability of society. The most dangerous element in labor circles is that which has attained the greatest development of technical skill. Unfortunately, there is little prevalent conviction that the emancipation of the masses has any other social significance than that of a mere political shibboleth, an open sesame to the public treasury on the part of its protagonists. The way toward national integrity, social, political, economic, lies not along the path of class prejudice, economic and political intolerance, but along the program of surcharging the laboring classes of Mexico with redoubled energy, renewed devotion to labor as a saving social grace, and an aroused public conscience which shall direct the great wealth of the public revenues into the coffers of the nation, to be expended in ways that shall benefit the whole people rather than privileged groups of office holders. Once public honesty, as demanded by President Obregón, becomes the characteristic of public administration, the enlightened public opinion of the continent will assent eagerly to legitimate national control of natural resources, industry, commerce, and exploitation. The path to stability is clearly pointed. out.

I am indebted to various Mexican and American writers, notably William H. Burgess, Rodolfo Reyes, P. H. Middleton and Demetrio Sodi, for materials used in preparation of this article.




(September 10, 1922.)

Again the Executive of the Union is pleased to fulfill Article 69 of our Supreme Law by acquainting the National Representative Body-on the occasion of the opening of its sessions-with the progress made by the several Secretariats of State and the Administrative Departments in the carrying out of their duties, during the period elapsed between August 10 of last year and July 31 of this year.

Having the high honor of laying before you, in brief résumé, the condition of the Public Administration of the country, it is opportune to state that now, as when I rendered my first account of its official conduct, the Executive will avoid entirely both discouraging pessimism and, with even greater care, unjustified optimism (which may cause lack of political foresight), and will keep all of its decisions and considerations strictly within the truth of events and facts. In that way you will be in a position to reach an impartial and just appreciation of public affairs, and especially of the problems which are of vital importance for the future of the nation.


RELATIONS OF THE FEDERAL AUTHORITY AND THE STATE GOVERNMENTS The uninterrupted cordiality which has characterized the political relations between the Co-legislative Chambers, the National Supreme Court of Justice and other Federal Tribunals, and the Executive of the Union during the period covered by this report, determined the proper procedure and solution of various transactions belonging to each of the Federal Authorities, and contributed effectively to the preservation of that unity and harmony so necessary to the good management of the Public Administration.

The same is to be said for the relations which the Federal Government has maintained with the State Governments, for they have all cooperated opportunely and effectively, to the greater efficiency of the Federal Administra


Regarding the conflicts of a merely local character which have occurred between the Legislative and Executive authorities in the states of Jalisco, Nuevo Léon and Puebla, the Federal Executive, respecting the sovereignty of the states and ever following his policy of conciliation, earnestly endeavored to have the judicial-political disputes which had arisen between them, settled in conformity with their respective legislation and in an atmosphere of peace and justice. And when the Legislatures of Jalisco and Nuevo Léon admitted the illegal acts of their respective governors and directed their appeal to the Superior Court of Justice; and when for its part the Congress of Puebla decreed the prosecution of the governor of that state, the Executive confined himself to adopting a watchful attitude, refraining from every act which might be construed as threatening the independence and sovereignty which, by our General Constitution, belong to the states in all matters of internal government.

With the truth of these intentions thoroughly established, the authority of the Public Administration in the districts referred to was immediately reestablished, continuing the good understanding between the local authorities and the government of the Federation.


In order to organize in all the States and Territories the preliminary work for the recent elections of Deputies and Senators to the General Congress. the Federal Executive issued several circular letters reminding the different authorities of the States and Municipalities of the early fulfilment of the obligations required of them under the standing Electoral Law; took care to warn the military authorities that their duty of obedience required them to refrain from any illegal interference in the primaries, and very especially from every act which might bring violence or compulsion to bear against the

political parties and military candidates; and repeatedly recommended to the governors of the States and of the Federal Territories that they should prescribe as early as possible all means that they might judge advisable in order to guarantee the free casting of the public vote in the territory under their jurisdiction.

Some authorities, leaders of military and political parties and many citizens, agreeing with the Secretariat of the Interior, declared that the great distances which separate the capitals from many towns; the lack of printing presses in many of them; and further, the scarcity of municipal funds, would render physically impossible the strict and thorough fulfillment of Articles 32 and 34 of the Electoral Law, and solicited authorization for the said political parties and the military candidates to make, at their own expense, the registration-slips. To meet this situation and to prevent it happening that through not having these registration-slips the elections should fail to take place on the date prescribed by law, the Secretariat of the Interior, interpreting in practical terms the spirit of these legal requirements, granted them the authorization that they sought, and in this way it was possible for the elections to take place at the appointed time.

There were disturbances and conflicts in different parts of the Republic over these elections, but as soon as the Secretariat of the Interior learned of them it ordered appropriate measures to remedy these irregularities, recommending at the same time to the governors of the states that within their jurisdictions they adopt means necessary to straighten out these conflicts in conformity with the laws.

In regard to the above-mentioned Electoral Law, the Executive is already at work preparing a plan of reform in order to free it from the many objections it presents in its operation, and at an early date will transmit to Congress his corresponding proposal.


The election of local authorities in the State of Coahuila took place August 28, 1921, resulting in the election of Arnulfo González as Constitutional Governor. He accordingly took possession of the office December 10th of the same year.

In the State of México, also, elections were held for the renewal of public authorities and took place July 3, 1921, resulting in the election of General Abundio Gómez as Constitutional Governor. He took up his duties September 16th of that year.

In the State of Nayarit the election of local authorities took place November 6, 1921, and the legally constituted Legislature declared Pascual Villanueva Constitutional Governor, who entered office January 10, 1922.

Elections for the renewal of local authorities in the State of Yucatán were held November 6, 1921, and resulted in the election of Felipe Carillo Puerto as Constitutional Governor. He took up his duties of office February 10th of this year.


The Executive of the Union learned from trustworthy sources that a considerable number of foreigners are engaged in the encouragement and exploitation of games of chance in various Federal Districts. On learning this, and following the program of protecting the public morals which has been systematically developed, the complete extermination of this vice being of well known advantage to society, instructions were issued to all the Goverso that previous to the corresponding investigations they might give concrete and detailed information to the Secretariat of the Interior concerning all foreigners who, abusing the hospitality extended to them by the Government of the Republic, are engaged in exploiting this vice, in order to decree their expulsion at an early date, in conformity with Article 33 of the General Constitution; for it is unquestionable that these aforementioned persons can be considered undesirable aliens.


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