Chargé Sleeper to the Secretary of State.
Habana, August 25, 1906.
Sir: In continuation of legation dispatch relative to the insurrection, I have the honor to advise the department that the situation remains practically unchanged, no serious or important engagements having as yet taken place. Both the Government and the insurrectionists are busily engaged in perfecting their organization. The Government hopes to be in a position to assume the offensive within two weeks, by which time the armament recently ordered from the States will have arrived and the militia, now being recruited, will have been sent to the front.
In interviews yesterday and to-day with the secretary of state and the secretary of the treasury, the latter sharing, with the secretary of public works, the direction of military affairs, I took occasion to urge upon them the necessity of acting with the greatest energy and of making every effort to suppress the outbreak in the shortest possible time, and pointed out that it was essential for the Government to have in the field not only enough men to assume active operations against the insurgents, but enough to garrison the towns, keep open the lines of communication, and to protect foreign interests, particularly American lives and property. They both agreed with me that the situation needed to be dealt with energetically, and assured me that the Government was doing everything in its power to control the situation; that it could and would, if necessary, put 20,000 men in the field, and that it confidently expected to crush the rebellion in two months’ time.
Business of the wholesale houses with the interior has fallen off, stocks have gone down, and commerce everywhere has been affected. Many merchants and planters are fearful that present conditions will continue until the beginning of the next grinding season—December—and such continuation would, of course, be exceedingly serious. Confidence is expressed by both the Government and many prominent bankers, however, that the revolt will have been put down before that date.
The President has prevailed upon Mr. O’Farrill to withdraw his resignation as secretary of state and justice, and he will retain that portfolio in the present cabinet. The secretary of public works is to [Page 457]act as secretary of the interior until the return of Gen. Ruiz Rivera, who has been cabled for from Central America.
I confirm on the overleaf my telegrams of the 24th and 25th, and inclose herewith clippings from the Daily Telegraph of this date.a
I have, etc.,
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