Mr. Woodford to Mr. Sherman.

Sir: The French ambassador, the Marquis de Reversezux, has returned to Madrid and I have this afternoon had an exceedingly cordial interview with him.

The Cuban question came up and he said that Mr. Schevitch, the Russian ambassador, had told him of our interview of September 30 (reported in my “confidential” dispatch of October 4), and that he understood our position and would not trouble me to repeat the wishes of our Government. But he suggested that he would be glad to know, if I felt at liberty to state it, what step the United States proposed next to take.

I replied that as we sought neither annexation nor a protectorate, but only peace, I could say nothing about any future action until I should know and study the reply to be made by the Spanish Government.

I spoke briefly, temperately, but strongly on the necessity of peace, and suggested that if Cuba lay within 100 miles of the French coast and like conditions existed, France would be compelled to insist upon peace and such local government in the island as would protect the just and natural interests of France.

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I added that I thought the patience and consideration shown by the United States toward Spain deserved the approval of the world.

Respectfully, yours,

Stewart L. Woodford.