Minister Squiers to the Secretary of State.
Habana, Cuba, November 16, 1905.
Sir: I have the honor to transmit herewith translation of the President’s message, dated November 6. It was read at the opening session of Congress the same day.
In a rather lengthy review of the affairs of the island for the past year, the Department will find practically nothing relative to the questions which seem to be of chief importance in our present relations with Cuba—i. e., sanitation (sewering and paving Habana), British-Cuban treaty, and trade relations with the United States.
The President’s statements regarding the condition of the treasury and general trade are far more satisfactory reading. There was a treasury balance on November 1 of $22,823,483.14, a very respectable [Page 287] showing. The special taxes imposed to provide for the charges in connection with the $35,000,000 loan prove to be ample, as from the surplus bonds of the same loan have been purchased during the year to the amount of $1,062,500.
Cuba’s import trade, exclusive of coin, amounted to $70,150,000 in 1903–4 and to $83,905,000 in 1904–5, an increase of $13,800,000, of which $8,900,000, or 65 per cent, came from the United States. It is stated that less than $800,000 of this increase came from France, less than $740,000 from Spain, and less than $460,000 from Germany. Mr. Palma makes no mention of the balance, $2,900,000—probably English increase. He does state that exportations to the United States increased by $7,500,000 and to England $400,000.
The payment of the first 50 per cent of the army claims is about completed, there being a balance of $2,974,786.68 out of $28,351,271.47. It is the opinion of the secretary of the treasury that unclaimed amounts will more than cover the further claims to be adjudicated by the new commission.
I have the honor to be, sir, etc.,