Mr. Adee to Mr. Taylor.
Washington, September 12, 1896.
Sir: Referring to your dispatch No. 526, of May 26, 1896, in which you confirm your telegram of the day before, to the effect that the [Page 687] Spanish minister of foreign affairs had promised you that all contracts for Cuban leaf tobacco entered into before the publication of the order prohibiting its exportation would be respected, I inclose copies1 of two complaints from citizens of the United States, alleging noncompliance on the part of the Cuban authorities with this promise, namely, a letter dated August 19, 1896, from The L. L. Warshauer Company, an importing concern in New York, and another from Mr. Bruno Diaz, which was inclosed in dispatch No. 110, September 3, 1896, from our consul-general at Habana. The Warshauer Company furnish copy of a written contract, dated April 2, 1896, between themselves and Messrs. Federico Bauriedel & Co., of Habana, for the purchase of 1,500 bales of Vuelta Abajo and Partido tobaccos of this year’s crop. They say that the Cuban authorities have forbidden the shipment of the tobacco called for by this contract, although it was completed prior to the issuance of the Governor General’s order prohibiting exportation. This complaint was referred to our consul-general on the 21st ultimo. His reply has not yet been received.
Mr. Bruno Diaz buys tobacco in Cuba for shipment to New York, making his purchases apparently from the producers in the province of Habana. On the 16th of May last, when the order prohibiting the exportation of leaf tobacco went into effect, Mr. Diaz had, according to his statement, bought 59,020 bundles of tobacco, equivalent to 1,550 bales. This tobacco was in his actual or constructive possession, but was not in condition to be shipped, and required manipulation of from one to forty days before it could be ready for shipment. The facts, as fully set forth in his protest, were made known to the proper Cuban authorities, but permission to export his tobacco had been denied him.
Both these cases seem to be clearly within the agreement of Spain that tobacco purchased or contracted for prior to the issuing of the decree against exportation should be permitted to leave the island. Mr. Diaz’s explanation of his inability to ship his tobacco within ten days after the promulgation of the Governor-General’s order is clear and unanswerable, and it would seem that the refusal to permit him to ship it at a later date is in violation of the promise which Spain has made to this Government. You are instructed to bring the two cases to the attention of the Spanish Government and to request that immediate directions be given to the authorities in Cuba who have charge of the enforcement of the decree against the exportation of tobacco to permit these complainants to bring their tobacco away from the island if the facts are within the scope of the Imperial Government’s promise, as telegraphed by you, and also that those officers be required, in the enforcement of the prohibitive order, to be duly observant of the aforesaid modification in favor of citizens of the United States.
I am, etc.,
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