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The crisis of 1943

In 1943, during the Second World War, Mexico was again faced with a silver crisis. A combination of reasons - anticipation of a rise in the price of silver; the Mexican government’s agreement to sell practically its entire silver production to the United States for its military industry; and a boom in the Mexican and US jewellery industries - caused the price of silver to rise and silver coins to be hoarded. On 21 August Mexico imposed a heavy export tax on silver products, to make it unprofitable to melt down silver coins to ship as bullion, and temporarily suspended a contract which promised all surplus silver production to the United States. However because of a shortage of fractional coinage, especially the fifty centavos denomination, it was compelled to authorise banks to issue cheques with printed denominations of twenty- five and fifty centavos. while it arranged for the production of new coins.


Originally the Banco Mexicano Refaccionario offered to print 50c cheques for agricultural businesses so that they could make their payrollsEl Siglo de Torreón, 27 July 1943.

Then, on 5 August the Banco Mexicano Refaccionario agreed with the Cámara Nacional de Comercio and the Asociación Civil “Pequeña Propiedad Agrícola de la Comarca Lagunera” to issue 50c cheques, backed up by deposits left with the bank. A public notice was published the following day, giving details and the names of the signatories. The cheques would be available on 7 AugustEl Siglo de Torreón, 6 August 1943.

The cheques were well received and the bank had difficulty keeping up with demand from ranchers. ejidos and businessmen, the first two to pay wages and the last to carry out their businesses, because of the need to sign thousands and thousands of notesEl Siglo de Torreón, Año XXII, No. 1812, 8 August 1943; El Siglo de Torreón, 10 August 1943. San Pedro alone requested $6,500 in chequesEl Siglo de Torreón, 10 August 1943.

By 10 August the Cámara de Comercio decided to increase the number of signatories to ten Rodolfo Solís, Ricardo Ramírez, Mónico Esquivel, Juan José Martínez, Pánfilo Sánchez, Emigdio Ulloa, José Lozano, Santiago Villarreal, José S. Sada and Francisco Dingler, and the Pequeña Propiedad Agrícola might have done the same, as they were receiving request not only from Torreón, but from Gómez Palacio, Lerdo, Bermejillo, Tjahualilo, Matamoros, Francisco I. Madero y San Pedro. A single farmer from San Pedro, Manuel Antero Fernández, had asked for $6,000 in cheques. The two issuers also decided that any new printings would be on paper of better quality since until then, because of the time pressure and lack of adequate paper, the cheques were very thin and deteriorated easilyEl Siglo de Torreón, 11 August 1943.

These notes travelled because on 29 August it was reported in Monterrey, Nuevo León, that people were paying with cheques from casas comerciales in other cities, mainly from Torreón, and banks were taking them at a discountEl Porvenir, Monterrey, 30 August 1943.

The bank stopped issuing cheques in mid OctoberEl Siglo de Torreón, 17 October 1943.

Cámara Nacional de Comercio drawn on the Banco Mexicano Refaccionario, S. A. de C. V

Camara Torreon 50c 573909</

  Date on note signature 1 signature 2 from to total
50c 21 August 1943 Mendoza González         includes number 304071CNBanxico #10222
6 September 1943             includes number 573909
17 September 1943             includes number 647196CNBanxico #123


The signatories included

Nicolás Castañeda sig Castaneda

Luis Cavazos Hinojosa was born in Ciudad Porfrio Días (now Piedras Negras), Coahuila in 27 October 1902.

He owned the Fabríca de Muebles de Refrigeración "Lucsa", that was the largest factory of its type in Mexico.

He died in Torreón on 19 February 1995.

sig Cavazos

[if correct person]
Francisco Dingler Van Vliet was born in Haarlem, the Netherlands, on 22 March 1877. In his youth he worked on the railways of his home country and South Africa, and took part in the Boer war. He was taken prisoner and read in the prison library about Mexico, so on his release in 1903 he moved to there and settled in Torreón, where he worked as a superintendent for the American Brad Street credit company. In 1915 he set up the Dingler stationery company, and then in 1917 the Dingler printing press. He was a tireless promoter for the city: as secretary of the junta de mejoras materiales he organised the paving of its main streets, and as a member of the Laguna automobile club, championed the building of the bridge connecting Torreón, Gómez Palacio and Lerdo. When 303 Chinese were massacred on 15 May 1911, he protected other Chinese from persecution by the revolutionaries, even at the risk of his own life, an action that earned him a decoration from the Chinese government.

His company printed comprobantes de trabajo for the Haciendas Bilbao y Anexas in the 1930s. He was on the board of the Casino de la Laguna in 1946.

He died on 24 May 1969.

Mónico Esquivel  

Filemon GarzaFilemón F. Garza from Santa Rosa, Nuevo León, was presidente of the PRI in Torreón in 1933-1934 and was on the board of the Casino de la Laguna in 1946.

sig F F Garza
Antonio P. González was on the board of the Casino de la Laguna in 1946. sig A P Gonzalez
J. González C. is not included in the public notices. sig J Gonzalez C
José Lozano  
Juan José Martínez  
[    ] Mendoza is not included in the public notices. sig Mendoza
Ricardo Ramírez is listed in the local directory as owning a warehouse (Almacen de Depósito).  
Ambrosio Rodríguez sig Rodriguez
José S. Sada Fernández was born in 1905 on the Hacienda de Ahualulco, San Luis Potosí and grew up in Monterrey, Nuevo León. He died on 27 July 1966.  
Jorge Samia sig Samia
Pánfilo Sánchez  
José A. Sepulveda sig Sepulveda
Rodolfo Solís Dávila  
Emigdio Ulloa  
Miguel Vázquez Ayala sig Vazquez
Santiago Villarreal  
[                           ]identification needed Camara Torreon sig1
[                           ]identification needed Camara Torreon sig2


Pequeña Propiedad Agrícola de la Comarca Lagunera, A. C., drawn on the Banco Mexicano Refaccionario, S. A. de C. V.

  Date on note from to total
 50c 25 August 1943         includes number 217420
1 September 1943         includes number 270281CNBanxico #10223


The signatories included

Jesús de la Corda Rocha sig de la Corda
Karmel L. de León sig de Leon
Ernesto Franco Armendáriz is listed in the local directory as involved in agriculture. He was treasurer of the Casino de la Laguna in 1946, thus being the third treasurer, after Mauro de la Peña and Ezequiel Ramos Barrera, to sign local issues. sig Franco
Jose A García is listed in the local directory as involved in agriculture. sig J A Garcia
Luis J. Garza was a well-known industrialist and farmer whose wine company, Cía. Vinicola del Vergel, S. A., was the most impotant in Mexico and one of the best in Latin America. sig L J Garza
José Gonzales Calderon sig Calderon
Pedro Ibarra García sig Ibarra Garcia
Manuel Valencia sig Valencia


By early September the Banco Industrial y Agrícola, S. A. in Torreón had decided to accept $1 Banco de México notes cut in halfEl Siglo de Torreón,4 September 1943. This practice continued, though with ever greater reluctance, until late SeptemberEl Porvenir, Monterrey, Año XXV, Núm. 9679, 21 September 1943 but was prohibited by the Secretaría de Hacienda at the beginning of November El Siglo de Torreón, 2 November 1943.

Banco Industrial de Monterrey

In late September senator Joaquín Martínez Chavarría, who had just come from Torreón, told the Secretario de Hacienda that the Banco Industrial de Monterrey was circulating cheques for twenty and fifty centavosUniversal Grafico, Año XXII, Núm. 3,627, 24 September 1943.

Banco Fronterizo de México

In late September senator Joaquín Martínez Chavarría, who had just come from Torreón, told the Secretario de Hacienda that the Banco Fronterizo de México was circulating cheques for twenty and fifty centavosibid..

The Banco Fronterizo de México was organised in Piedras Negras, Coahuia, in [    ].