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.
The Chamber of Commerce made at least three issues.
The first issue, dated 22 August, was for 50,000 notes with a value of $25,000. They carried the signature of one of ten directors Julio Patrón C., Delio E. Alonso. Miguel Peón de Regil. Ramon Febles C., Fernando Cervera Monsreal, Eugenio Herrero, Enrique Ferraez P., Angel Thomas. Ricardo Bolio G. or Enrique Losa L. and the datestamp of the CámaraDiario del Sureste, Mérida, Año XII, Tomo XXXXVII, Núm. 4026, 22 August 1943.
The Chamber issued a notice in the press.
A second issue was dated 25 September. For this the manager, Arturo Rendón R., got off the bench and signed some of the notes.
A more professional issue is dated 19 November and has the facsimile signatures of Julio Patrón C. as Presidente and Miguel Peón de Regil as Tesorero.
In the port of Progreso the local Chamber of Commerce agreed on 25 August to issue 10,000 50c cheques.
The Chamber also informed the public by means of a press notice.