Mr. Dupuy de Lôme to Mr. Day.
Washington , December 24, 1897 .
Mr. Secretary: After the conference I had with you yesterday at the Department of State in regard to the last note you addressed to me in relation to the persons known as “reconcentrados” under date [Page 513] of the 18th instant, which note I received on the 21st, I now have the honor to state to you that the Governor of the Island of Cuba, to whom I communicated by cable the desires of the President, informs me by telegraph that “there may be sent to General Lee whatever relief may be desired, in order that the latter may deliver the same to the boards organized in aid of the reconcentrados or to the bishop, and the supplies will be admitted free of duty.”
It is also incumbent upon me to state to you, recalling what you said to me in the aforesaid conference, that the President has been wrongly informed by those who have told him that the furnishing of relief to the reconcentrados had been stopped. What has been done, as General Blanco telegraphs to me, has been to cease to issue rations in kind owing to the difficulty of transporting the same by the military administration, but they are given the equivalent in money, as has often been done in the case of the soldiery.
In addition to what I have hereinbefore stated, I deem it my duty to remind you that on the 6th instant I had the honor to say to you that the Government of His Majesty had decided, in deference to the desires of the President and even going beyond them, that not only provisions will enter free of duty as suggested, but also the medicines, clothing, and articles of prime necessity that might be sent to the prelate of Havana, who would attend to their distribution; and I ought likewise to add that it has been announced through the press that the Government of His Majesty had authorized me to receive whatever private charity might wish to send to those who are suffering from the consequences of the war, the ports of the island being, moreover, open, so far as the Government of His Majesty is concerned, since the first week of December for all who, being moved by love of their neighbors, might seek to give them succor.
I avail myself, etc.,