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page 51
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51CHARGES UNFRIENDLINESS."Since some of our California neighbors, and especially Los Angeles newspapers, are exhibiting such a spirit of unfriendliness toward us, I have decided to recommend to President Calles the closing of Mexicali and Tiajuana as ports of entry immediately. This would mean that no commerce would be transacted through these ports. Although the value of commodities sold by California firms to Lower California amounts to many millions of dollars annually, there is no reason why we should cooperate with California people unless they are willing to cooperate with us."The closing of these ports of entry would affect also the shipping of freight through the ports and this would stop the shipping of Imperial Valley produce, amounting to many thousands of carloads annually through Lower California."I am not worried about what California people and newspapers think of my work here, nor what they think regarding so-called vice conditions in the northern district of Lower California. I am more concerned about what my own people think of me and my administration of the office of governor in this district. So long as I fulfill my duties here and work for the interests of my people and my Government, stories printed in California newspapers do not bother me at all."Since I have been in office I have endeavored in every way possible to cooperate with our neighbors across the border and on every possible occasion I have encouraged the purchase of machinery and materials for use in this district from the California people. Now, it seems they do not reciprocate, and I shall recommend the closing of these ports and the purchase of millions of dollars annually in machinery and commodities of all kinds in other States. California people should be our friends, but since they are unwilling to do so they must take the consequences commercially."Last year the government of the northern district of Lower California purchased more than one-half million dollars worth of machinery, structural materials, and supplies in California. The industrial and agricultural development of this district, including the development of the government farming colony, the construction of new railroads, and the erection of school buildings and government buildings here will mean the purchase this year of many more millions of dollars worth of material which California will lose by the closing of the ports of Mexicali and Tijuana."It would appear that the Los Angeles newspapers are starting a reform by their attacks on the so-called vice conditions in this district of Lower California, but as a matter of fact they are merely jealous of the remarkable development of San Diego, which from all reports is getting a large share of the tourist trade and is going forward rapidly because of its wonderful climate and other facilities leading to development."The only difference that I can see between the so-called vice conditions set forth in Los Angeles newspapers as existing in this district and the actual gambling den and vice conditions existing in Los Angeles at this time is that the various enterprises here designated as vice dens are legally licensed by the government and the government obtains the income from them and regulates them."On the other hand, those in Los Angeles, which are known to be operating, are illegal and unlicensed and only the responsible officials are benefiting from them."It would seem that some California politicians in Los Angeles and Imperial Valley are taking advantage of the Peteet case at Tia Juana to make great capital out of it at this time."NO EMBARGO ON PERSONS.It was explained by Governor Rodriguez that in the event the ports of entry were closed to commerce, it would not mean that the ports would be closed to ordinary traffic of people. He explained further that there would be no way of closing the ports to commerce except by including all of the railroad operations, as the Government could not discriminate.The Government's plan for development in Mexicali and vicinity this year includes the construction of two large school buildings, the paving of several additional streets, and the extension of sewer and water systems in the Mexicali district, all of which will entail the expenditure of considerable capital.The closing of the port of Mexicali alone would mean a serious commercial loss not only to the Imperial Valley, but to entire southern California.

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