The Duke de Arcos to Mr. Hay.
Washington , July 20, 1899 .
Mr. Secretary: I have learned that, in pursuance of the stipulations of article 9 of the treaty of Paris, a registration office was opened day before yesterday in the island of Cuba, at which office Spaniards residing in Cuba may, according to the provisions of the aforesaid article, declare their intention to retain their nationality. I have not yet received any information as to the character of that office, or whether there are more than one.
As the spirit and letter of said article is that the aforesaid Spaniards may freely elect the nationality that they prefer, I consider that all possible facilities should be afforded them for this purpose, and I consequently have the honor to propose to the American Government the adoption of the following measures:
Spaniards residing in the territories whose sovereignty has been renounced or ceded by Spain may make their declaration of nationality at such registration offices as the American authorities may designate. They may likewise make it at the consulates of Spain. Every month until the expiration of the time fixed by the treaty for registration, the competent authorities shall send to the nearest consulate of Spain a list of the registrations made during that period, and the Spanish consul shall do the same to the American authorities. I think, furthermore, that the registration offices should be as numerous as the conditions of the localities will allow.
I hope that the American Government will have no objection to the adoption of these measures, and that, in view of the fact that several months of the time fixed by the treaty of Paris have already elapsed, it will see fit to issue the necessary orders as speedily as possible.
Thanking the honorable Secretary of State of the United States in advance, I avail myself, etc.,