Minister Squiers to the Secretary of State.

No. 1382.]

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.,

H. G. Squiers.

The President’s Message to the Congress.

(Read to both Houses November 6, 1005.)

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foreign relations.

On April 7 last, M. Paul Lefaivre, accredited as minister resident of the French Republic in substitution of M. Edmon A. Bruwaert, who had up to that time filled that position, was received in public audience with the customary ceremonies.

In former messages I have pointed out the advisability of sending a special mission to the countries of Central and South America, and I now insist upon that indication. Salvador, Chile, Peru, and Guatemala have sent their diplomatic representatives here, and it is announced that Nicaragua will shortly do so, while Cuba has not as yet responded to such marks of international courtesy. The mission referred to could fulfill this duty to our sister republics and at the same time establish friendly relations with others of the continent.

The Senate not yet having approved the appointment made on January 11, 1904, of Señor Emilio Ferrer y Picabia, present chargé d’affaires in France for the post of minister plenipotentiary in that Republic and in the Kingdom of Italy, it has not been possible to establish the legation in the latter, which was among the first to accredit a diplomatic representative to our government.

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Previous to the date of the message which I had the honor to address to Congress at the opening of the first legislative session of the present year the Senate of the United States terminated its sessions and will not resume them until the beginning of December next, this being the reason why approval of the Isle of Pines treaty is still unsettled. Reports which we have received with reference to this matter indicate that the United States Senate will approve the treaty in question, in which the sovereignty of Cuba over the island referred to is recognized.

Ratifications have been exchanged of the treaty of extradition with Belgium. On May 4 last a treaty of general relations was signed with Great Britain, and the same has been submitted to the approval of the Senate. An extradition agreement has been signed with Santo Domingo and another with Spain; also one relative to postal parcels with Germany, and another of the same character is now being negotiated with the French Republic.

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An invitation has been lately received from the Government of Russia, through its ambassador in the United States, for the Republic of Cuba to take part in the new international peace conference to be held at The Hague as soon as favorable replies are received from the invited governments. Through our minister in Washington we have replied to the ambassador, [Page 288] His Excellency Baron Rosen, that the Government of the Republic will take part in the new peace conference and that delegates will be appointed at the proper time.

It would be a great honor indeed for Cuba to be represented at that conference, the object of which is to prevent or limit as much as possible armed conflicts, submitting to arbitration international questions which the contending parties themselves can not arrange pacifically.

I again beg to insist upon the recommendation which I had the honor to make to Congress in other messages relative to the modification of articles 293 and 294 of the customs tariff, as such a reform is necessary in order that Cuba may adhere to the sugar convention of Brussels.

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