Chargé Sleeper to the Secretary of State.
Habana, January 13, 1906.
Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge receipt of department instructions No. 569, of December 21, 1905,a relative to the sanitation of [Page 504]the cities of the island of Cuba, and beg to advise you that the matter was at once brought to the attention of the secretary of state and justice, as per legation note No. 800, of January 1, 1906, copy herewith inclosed, which closely follows the above-mentioned instructions. I presented this note in person to Mr. O’Farrill, and in our subsequent conversation endeavored to impress upon him that it was the earnest wish of President Roosevelt and yourself that there be no further delay on the part of Cuba in fulfilling her obligations. Señor O’Farrill replied that the Cuban Government, and particularly Mr. Palma, is most anxious that there shall be no further delay, but added that the President, in the instance of Habana, is strongly opposed to a municipal loan and desires time in which to devise other ways and means that will be acceptable to all parties concerned, saying in conclusion that he, the President, entertains strong hopes that Congress will take the matter up shortly, and thereby materially aid in the solution of the problem.
Despite my reiterated request that he state a given time in the near future for carrying out the existing engagements in the premises, the Secretary refused to commit himself, answering vaguely that he hoped the matter would be settled within the next four months or so.
I consider Mr. O’Farrill’s reply to my note, dated January 10, 1906, copy and translation of which are inclosed herewith, most unsatisfactory in that no promise or assurance of prompt action is given, the Secretary confining himself to the mere repetition of his verbal statement to me, viz, that the President confidently hopes that the matter will be shortly taken up and efficaciously acted upon by Congress.
I am, etc.,
Chargé d’Affaires ad interim.