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.

Guadalajara

Cámara Nacional de Comercio

By 29 August the shortages had become so severe that some merchants were thinking of issuing 50c cheques but were hampered by the lack of chequebooksEl Informador, Año XXVI, Tomo LCV, Núm. 9004, 29 August 1943.

On 17 September the local Cámara Nacional de Comercio issued a group of identical 50c cheques, drawn on five local banks: the Banco Nacional de México, S. A. Sucursal en Guadalajara; the Banco Refaccionario de Jalisco, S. A., the Banco Industrial de Jalisco, S. A., the Banco Mercantil de Guadalajara, S. A. and the Banco Provincial de Jalisco, S. A.

Banco Nacional Guadalajara 50c 28455

Banco Refaccionario 50c

Banco Industrial 50c

Banco Mercantil 50c

Banco Provincial Guadalajara 50c 22732

The signatories were consejeros of the Cámara de Comercio: Efraín González Luna, Francisco de la Torre R., Ricardo Sada Paz, Manuel Martínez R., Salvador Uribe, Eduardo Toussaint, Mauricio Brun, Epifanio Arzate, Alfredo Vázquez, Ricardo Aguilar, J. Trinidad Ibarra, Marcelo Gasse, Miguel Moragrega, Enrique Vizcaino Jesúa Zuloaga and José Pintado, and each cheques had two signaturesEl Informador, Año XXVI, Tomo XCV, Núm. 9013, 7 September 1943.

drawn on Total
number
from to signature 1
(Presidente}
signature 2
Banco Nacional de México          Vázquez
Banco Refaccionario de Jalisco          Sada Paz
Banco Industrial de Jalisco          
Banco Mercantil de Guadalajara          Pintado
Banco Provincial de Jalisco          Arzate

 

Another way to produce 50c notes was to split a $1 note in half. In Guadalajara the tram companies resorted to thisLa Opinión, Puebla, Año XIX, Tomo LVII, Núm. 6957, 7 September 1943.

Ciudad Guzmán

Mendoza y Compañía

In late August Guillermo Ochoa Mendoza, general manager of Mendoza y Compañía issued ten thousand 50c cheques drawn on the agency of the Banco Refaccionario de Jalisco, S. A. However, the cheques were printed on very poor paper and soon became unusableEl Informador, Año XXVI, Tomo LCV, Núm. 9004, 29 August 1943.

Cámara Nacional de Comercio

On 11 October the local Cámara Nacional de Comercio in Ciudad Guzmán decided to issue $5,000 in 50c chequesEl Informador, 13 October 1943. These were drawn on the Banco Refaccionario de Jalisco, S. A. and dated 18 October.