Mr. Allen to Mr. Hay.

No. 472.]

Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt on the 25th ultimo of your cablegrama in regard to the matter of obtaining permission for the consuls of the United States to attend to the interests of Cuba and its citizens pending the establishment of Cuban consulates.

I at once addressed acting foreign minister as per inclosed copy of my letter.

After much delay I received a reply merely acknowledging the receipt of my letter.

This dispatch I returned with the explanation that as I had asked for permission for United States consular officers to act, I must have a definite statement as to whether such permission is granted. This brought a satisfactory reply, a copy of which I inclose, in which permission is granted.

I have, etc.,

Horace N. Allen.
[Inclosure 1.]

Mr. Allen to the acting minister for foreign affairs.

Your Excellency: I am informed by telegraph by my Government that the President of Cuba asks the Government of Korea to permit the United States consular officers within its jurisdiction to use their good offices in representation of the interests of Cuba and of its citizens until Cuban consuls shall have been appointed, and I am instructed to ask that this permission be granted.

You will remember that Cuba revolted against the dominion of Spain and the United States went to war with the latter country in order to end the revolution and free Cuba. After the close of the war the United States assisted Cuba in preparing for the establishment of a free and independent government. This has now been accomplished, and the first President, Estrada Palma, having been duly elected, was inaugurated on the 20th instant, at which time the troops and officials of the United States were withdrawn from the Island Republic.

Pending the conclusion of foreign treaties, it is evidently the wish of the Cuban Government that the United States consular officials should attend to Cuban interests abroad.

I take this opportunity, etc.,

Horace N. Allen.
[Page 737]
[Inclosure 2.]

The acting minister for foreign affairs to Mr. Allen.

Your Excellency: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter in which you inform me that the Cuban Government asked the United States Government to have the American consuls under its jurisdiction protect the rights of Cuban citizens; that you have been instructed by your Government to ask permission from the Korean Government for the exercise of these functions by the United States consuls in Korea, and you relate the history of the establishment of the Cuban Government as a republic, by the assistance of the United States.

I beg to inform you that Cuba shall have equal treatment with other nations as she now has the right of independence. However, no treaty between Cuba and Korea has been made. Therefore, consular officers can not be established at present. But the American consular officers are empowered to protect the rights of Cuban citizens, under their jurisdiction, and the Korean Government grants the same right according to custom.

I have, etc.,

Chey Yung Ha.
  1. Printed, page 6.