Mr. Cambon to Mr. Day.

Mr. Secretary of State: In reply to the note which you did me the honor to address to me on the 24th instant, relative to the repatriation of the Spaniards who have been taken prisoners on board of the vessels captured as prizes since the beginning of the war, I have the honor to inform you that I think, as you do, that it is desirable that a final arrangement should be concluded as speedily as possible.

But before taking the measures necessary to this end, allow me to call your attention to the fact that the information which you were pleased to communicate to me by your aforesaid note is still incomplete. You state that a certain number of prisoners whose families are in Cuba do not desire to be sent back to Spain, but you do not give the number of those who are to be sent to Europe on board of the steamers Catalina and Jover, or taken to New York by said vessels. Now, this number is indispensable to enable me to ask of the Spanish Government an appropriation sufficient for the repatriation of these prisoners.

I have, moreover, reason to infer from your note that the steamers Catalina and Jover will sail direct from Key West to Spain, if security is given in case an appeal should be taken from the decision which has released them, and that, in the contrary case, they will not take the prisoners farther than New York. No decision can therefore be [Page 796] reached until it is known whether this security has been furnished, and yet you likewise inform me that these vessels are to sail on the 27th instant—that is to say, day after to-morrow—which would, indeed, allow us too little time to settle these different questions.

I feel that I must thank you and the Attorney-General for all the measures that you have taken and that you will be pleased to take hereafter in order to secure the subsistence and safety of these prisoners.

Be pleased to accept, etc.,

Jules Cambon.