No. 616.
Mr. Bayard to Mr. Curry.

No. 181.]

Sir: I inclose for your information a copy of a further dispatch from Cuba, showing the public dissatisfaction there with the exactions of the passport system.

I am, etc.,

T. F. Bayard.
[Inclosure in No. 181.]

Mr. Williams to Mr. Porter.

No. 584.]

Sir: I beg to inclose the translation of an article that appeared in the Pais of this city on the 7th instant, in censure of the passport system in this island, and which has been called out by a complaint lately published against it by the leading hotel-keepers of this city. I beg to commend it to the attention of the Department in connection with my dispatch No. 583, of the 5th instant.

I am, sir, etc.,

Ramon O. Williams,
[Inclosure to inclosure in No. 181.–Translation from El Pais, of Havana, date March 7, 1887.]

An administrative trap.

There has appeared in our columns a communication addressed to us by several of the hotel-keepers of this city censuring, with reason, a measure adopted by the civil government of this province, which, while it justifies those foreigners who visit the island in saying they have been deceived by our Government, inflicts a heavy damage upon the hotel business.

Complying with the call made by the hotel-keepers upon the press, we have at once to take sides with them in asking for the complete cessation of the anomaly that has given cause for their complaint, as much because of its justice as the pain it gives us to see the authorities employ certain means which, apart from the injury they do, lower them in public estimation.

The complaint can not be more justified, and it is sufficient only to take into account the fact upon which it is founded to so acknowledge it. The civil government of the province announced that transient foreigners would not need passports to visit this island, and confiding in this many have come here during the present winter without providing themselves with that useless document, but upon their returning home it is exacted from them as an, indispensable requisite before they can take passage. These foreigners, as is natural, protest against this deception, alleging that in consequence of the necessity of the passport to leave the island, they find themselves caught in a rat-trap, and of course vent themselves in comments against our system [Page 992] of government, of which the least that can he said is the want of sincerity; and they swear they will not he fooled again by returning to a country where so much mystification is practiced.

We are well aware there is no other malice in this than the desire to collect a tax. But does not the Government perceive that it is a delusion to abolish passports on entering the island and to exact them upon going out? It has not taken into account the damage caused to business in driving away so many foreign tourists from our shores, who spend their money here in the winter season.