The crisis of 1943
In 1943, during the Second World War, Mexico was again faced with a silver crisis (There was 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). On 21 August it 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. All these issues were quickly withdrawn.
In Veracruz the Cámara Nacional de Comercio issued 50c cheques al portador, drawn on the Banco Mercantil de Veracruz, S. A. and the branch of the Banco Nacional de México, depositing money in both of the banks. The number was limited, given that they had to be signed by the manager and Oficial Mayor the Cámara, Juan A. Palavicini y Francisco Breissin ( the same two had signed similar cheques in 1935)El Dictamen, Año XLV, Núm. 12049, 29 August 1943.
The Cámara Nacional de Comercio de Cordoba issued a 50c cheque, drawn on the Banco de Cordoba, S. A., dated 28 August. The cheques were well receivedEl Dictamen, Año XLV, Núm. 12049, 29 August 1943.
By late August people in Xalapa had begun using halves of $1 Banco de México notes to represent 50c.
On 24 August the Chamber of Commerce, presided over by Guillermo Tamborrell, held a meeting of the leading merchants with Eugenio Tena, the manager of the local branch of the Banco Nacional de México in attendance to discuss the problem. They agreed to an issue of $20,000 in 50c cheques al portador, drawn on the Banco Nacional de México. Meanwhile, businesses would continue to accept the halved notes, and the bank would honour themEl Tema de Hoy, Xalapa, Año XIII, Núm. 4053, 24 August 1943.
The cheques were dated 1 September and had the printed signatures of Ramón [ ] as secretary and Guillermo Tamborrell as president.
This must have been a short-lived and insignificant issue as the Diario de Xalapa, which began publishing on 13 September 1943, has no mention of it, neither of its use and acceptance nor of its redemption.