Mr. Dupuy de Lôme to Mr. Olney.


Mr. Secretary: I have received, rather late, in consequence of its having been forwarded by mistake to Swampscott, the note which you were pleased to address me, under date of September 26, relative to a communication addressed by the Govern or-General of the Island of Cuba to the United States consul-general at Havana concerning consular powers.

Knowing, as I do, the elevated view taken by General Martinez Campos of all questions, I can not give to his communication either the scope or the interpretation given to it by your excellency in the note to which I have the honor to reply.

I know the exertions made by the superior authority of the Island of Cuba, in order that foreigners may suffer as little as possible in the exceptional circumstances through which the territory under his charge is passing, and to prevent any friction or cause of complaint on the part of friendly nations. I also know that he maintains the best and most cordial relations with the head of the United States consular service in Cuba; and I can assure the Government of which your excellency forms a worthy part that, in writing to Mr. Williams in the sense in which he did, it was certainly not with the intention or wish that the United States should address him through me, as is customary between sovereigns, but to the end that, he being, as he knows that he is, a delegated authority, foreign consuls, in addressing him officially in the exercise of a right acknowledged by international and conventional law, and which nobody denies, may not go so far as to ask for decisions, request declarations, or demand settlements which His Majesty’s Government alone is competent to adopt.

I am sure that what the Governor-General of the Island of Cuba has done was not denying a right, but endeavoring to prevent the abuse of it, which, it is true, has been unintentionally committed for a long time back.

The foregoing observations are entirely personal, but I do not think that they are far from [stating] the actual facts.

I inform the Governor-General to-day of what your excellency has been pleased to communicate to me, and I report it at the same time to the minister of state.

I avail, etc.,

E. Dupuy de Lôme.