Samuel Gompers Papers

To   Ricardo Flores Magón                                                                                                                      

                                                                                                                                                  March 18, 1911.

Mr. R. Flores Magón,
Headquarters of the Junta of the Mexican Liberal Party,
519 1/2 E. 4th Street, Los Angeles, Cal.

Dear Sir:

       Your favor of the 11th instant to hand and contents noted. It is impossible to attempt to convey to you the intense interest I feel in the military movements now being conducted under direction of the President of the United States. It is difficult and may be simply a matter of surmise of the ultimate purpose of these "maneuvers." Thinking, earnest Americans who love our Republic and the principles upon which it is founded can only entertain the hope that your apprehensions may be unfounded. I say this not simply for the preservation of the rights of the people of Mexico to the government of their own affairs, but also for the integrity of the United States and the liberty of our people.

        After receiving your letter with its request to me to enter protest, my first impulse was to refer the matter to the Executive Council of the American Federation of Labor for decision, but before so doing I should say to you that I have not seen concretely stated the principles and purposes for which the revolutionary movement in Mexico was begun. I do not refer to the negative side, but to the affirmative. I think the American people should be told by the authorized spokesman of the revolutionary movement of Mexico, what it aims to accomplish as a constructive power if entrusted with the powers of government of Mexico. If the present regime is to be supplanted by another, the present revolutionary party, without fundamentally changing the conditions which shall make for the improvement of the workers' opportunities, and a greater regard for their rights and their interests, then the American labor movement can look upon such a change with entire indifference.

        If you will communicate to me the information which I seek, I shall in turn communicate it to my colleagues of the Executive Council of the A.F. of L. for their instructions in the premises. I assume that you are aware that it would be impossible for me to take any definite action upon so momentous a matter as the one under consideration without the approval of my colleagues.

        I repeat, however, that it is my sincere hope that the military movements of the troops of the United States may have no further purpose than at first stated by President Taft, "maneuver and mobilization of the forces for educational purposes."

        Hoping for an early reply, I am,

                                                Very truly yours, Saml Gompers

                                                 President, American Federation of Labor.

TLpS, reel 154, vol. 166, pp. 773-74, SG Letterbooks, DLC.