Mr. Woodford to Mr. Day.

No. 196.]

Sir: I have the honor to report that this (Thursday) morning I received your cipher telegram, which I translate as follows:

Washington, March 30, 1898.

Woodford, Minister, Madrid:

You should know and fully appreciate that there is profound feeling in Congress and the grayest apprehension on the part of most conservative members that a resolution for intervention may pass both branches in spite of any effort which can be made. Only assurance from the President that if he fails in peaceful negotiations he will submit all the facts to Congress at a very early day will prevent immediate action on the part of Congress.

The President assumes that whatever may be reached in your negotiations to-morrow will be tentative only to be submitted as the proposal of Spain.

We hope your negotiation will lead to a peace acceptable to the country.

Wednesday, 4 p.m.


I at once telegraphed you in cipher as follows:

Madrid, March 31, 1898.

Assistant Secretary Day, Washington:

Received your dispatch dated Wednesday, 4 p.m., this morning. If Spanish Government accept our demands this afternoon without reservation or modification, I shall close negotiations on our terms. If there be the least modification, I will receive Spanish suggestions tentatively and report by cable to-night for decision by the President. I will neither embarrass the President nor diminish the just demands of our Government.


This afternoon at 4 o’clock I met the president of the council, the minister for foreign affairs, and the minister for the colonies in our adjourned conference. The minister for the colonies acted as interpreter, as before.

I have to-night telegraphed you so fully, giving account of our conference, that I quote my telegram here.

Madrid, March 31, 1898.

Assistant Secretary Day, Washington:

Adjourned conference held this afternoon, Thursday. All present. President of the council handed me Spanish propositions in writing, which I translated in their presence. The minister for the colonies examined and approved my translation, which begins here.

catastrophe of the maine.

Spain is ready to submit to an arbitration the differences which can arise in this matter.


General Blanco, following the instructions of the Government, has revoked in the western provinces the bando relating to the reconcentrados, and, although this measure will not be able to reach its complete developments until the military operations terminate, the Government places at the disposal of the Governor-General of Cuba a credit of 3,000,000 of pesetas, to the end that the country people may return at once and with success to their labors.

[Page 727]

The same Government will accept, nevertheless, whatever assistance to feed and succor the necessitous maybe sent from the United States, in the form and conditions agreed upon between that sub-Secretary of State, Mr. Day, and the Spanish minister in Washington.

pacification of cuba.

The Spanish Government, more interested than that of the United States in giving to the Grand Antille an honorable and stable peace, proposes to confide its preparations to the insular parliament, without whose intervention it will not be able to arrive at the final result, it being understood that the powers reserved by the constitution to the Central Government are not lessened and diminished.


As the Cuban Chambers will not meet until the 4th of May, the Spanish Government will not, on its part, find it inconvenient to accept at once a suspension of hostilities asked for by the insurgents from the general in chief, to whom it will belong in this case to determine the duration and the conditions of the suspension.

Spanish propositions end here. I told them I would telegraph their propositions to Washington verbatim, but that I did not believe the proposition relating to suspension of hostilities would be acceptable, and that the insurgents would not ask for it.

We parted without any appointment for further conference. I said that I would communicate the reply of my Government to the Spanish minister of foreign affairs.

Thursday night, 10 o’clock.


I received all the propositions tentatively; did not commit my Government to any of them; promised to communicate all to Washington by telegraph, and expressly stated my belief that the one relating to suspension of hostilities would not be acceptable.

This proposition, taken in connection with the one relating to the “pacification of Cuba,” does not mean immediate or assured peace. It means, when read with the other, continuation of this destructive, cruel, and now needless war.

I have written this in my own hand, as one of my two typewriters is sick, and the other is at work on the cipher dispatches I am sending to-night.

Very respectfully, yours,

Stewart L. Woodford.