Mr. Olney to Mr. Dupuy de Lôme.
Washington, March 12, 1896.
Sir: Referring to your reply of the 18th ultimo to my note of the 17th of the same month, in relation to the inscription in the local municipal offices of the Island of Cuba of citizens of the United States registered as such in the several consulates, and in particular to your suggestion that the consuls of the United States should be instructed to facilitate such local inscription because tending to insure due observance of the treaty rights of American citizens in that island, I have the pleasure to inform you that the consul-general of the United States at Habana, to whom a copy of your note was communicated, reports that on the 7th of September last he anticipated your request by instructing the several consuls of the United States within his jurisdiction that they should inform all duly registered American citizens that they should obtain the necessary personal certificates of identification as American citizens from the proper civil authorities of their respective districts.
Mr. Williams reports that, inasmuch as the local authorities, styled alcaldes de barrio, issue the personal certificates of cédulas upon the [Page 680]same form as that used for Spanish subjects, they very often neglect to state that the person to whom the cédula is issued is a domiciled or sojourning citizen of the United States. In the interest, therefore, of the same facility of identification, to which your recent note attached importance, I have the honor to suggest that you recommend to the Governor-General, as an additional measure of abundant caution, that he direct the provincial governors to, in turn, instruct the alcaldes de barrio to take care always to state the nationality of the bearer in the cédulas they may issue to domiciled or sojourning American citizens.