The nature of Canadian investment in Mexico, 1902 - 1915: a study of the incorporation and history of the Mexican Light and Power Company, the Mexico Tramways Company and the Mexico North Western Railway
The Mexican Light and Power Company, the Mexico Tramways Company and the Mexico North Western Railway Company were all ventures of James H. Dunn and Dr. F. S. Pearson incorporated in Canada and operating in Mexico during the regime of Porfirio Diaz. These companies were the most important of some eight Canadian companies found in Mexico after the turn of this century. Equally, these Mexican enterprises comprised a large part of a significant Canadian economic expansion into the Caribbean and Latin America at this time that resulted from the growth of the Canadian economy and the prosperity in Canada after 1896. These concerns, however, cannot be characterized as examples of Canadian direct investment abroad. The nature of Canadian economic development with its dependence on both British and American capital inflows led to Canadian specialization in the area of financial intermediation - especially underwriting, promoting and brokerage functions. The Mexican Light and Power Company, the Mexico Tramways Company and the Mexico North Western Railway Company were incorporated in Canada to take advantage of relatively lax laws regulating the activities of companies that guaranteed their activities would take place outside of the Dominion of Canada and Canadian participation was limited to financing these enterprises. Through manipulative selling syndicates organized by James H. Dunn the securities of these ventures were sold to the investing public of Britain, continental Europe and the United States. That Mexico should be the site of three of the largest of these Canadian enterprises abroad was not an accident. Porfirio Diaz provided the essential ingredient of internal stability and granted the companies lucrative and long term concessions, often in perpetuity. While prospering under the Porfiriato, as the reign of Dfaz has come to be called, the excesses of the regime resulted in its collapse in 1911 and by 1915 the three companies of Pearson and Dunn had been placed into receivership, one the victim of revolutionary violence and the others the victims of the chronic instability and also the demand for political and economic sovereignty on the part of the Mexican people.
Bibliography: p. 142-153.
French, W. E. (1981). The nature of Canadian investment in Mexico, 1902 - 1915: a study of the incorporation and history of the Mexican Light and Power Company, the Mexico Tramways Company and the Mexico North Western Railway (Master's thesis, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada). Retrieved from https://prism.ucalgary.ca. doi:10.11575/PRISM/15727