Chargé Sleeper to the Secretary of State.

No. 1465.]

Sir: In continuation of my dispatch No. 1438 of the 13th ultimo, and in reply to department’s instructions No. 580 of January 20, 1906, regarding the early compliance of Cuba with her treaty engagements in the matter of the sanitation of the cities of the island, I have the honor to inclose to the department translation of Mr. O’Farrill’s reply to the representations I made at the foreign office pursuant to the department’s aforesaid instructions.

I asked Mr. O’Farrill to bring this matter to the particular attention of the President and have been assured by him that the inclosed note embodies Mr. Palma’s views as well as his own.

In the instance of Habana, where the need is most urgent and the work will be first taken up, Secretary O’Farrill makes the statement that the municipality is unable to contract a loan sufficiently large to cover the expense of sewering and paving and for that reason the necessary amount is to be jointly provided by the Government and municipality. Mr. O’Farrill believes that the work will not only be begun but considerably advanced within the present year.

I have, etc.,

Jacob Sleeper.

The Secretary of the State and Justice of the Republic of Cuba to Chargé Sleeper.

No. 87.]

Mr. Chargé d’affaires: I have received your polite note of January 26 last, in which your honor refers to the reply I had the honor to make to you on the 10th of the said month regarding Cuba’s compliance with her engagements in the matter of the sanitation of various of her cities. You say that your Government considers my reply unsatisfactory since but little assurance is given of an early compliance with the treaty engagements.

I reaffirm the expression of my previous notes in which I endeavored to set forth with greatest clearness the desire of the Cuban Government to give an early compliance with the engagements to which your honor alludes in the note which I am answering.

The most important work is the sewering and paving of the city of Habana, which the Government, after consideration, has decided should be done with the Republic’s own resources and without recource to a loan, always ruinous, and which could not be contracted for by the municipality of Habana to the necessary amount for the execution of a work so important as that mentioned.

In place of a loan, impossible under the present conditions of the treasury of the capital of the Republic, the Government proposes that the necessary amount [Page 509] to pay for the work which can be done each year be made part of the national and municipal budgets. To do this Congress will have to be relied upon and a respectable majority is expected in the Congress which will meet next April.

I can assure your honor that the work of the sanitation of the cities referred to in the engagement made by Cuba, particularly the sewering and paving of Habana, will be begun and will have made considerable progress during the present year.

Meanwhile the Government will give particular attention to public health. The success it has had with the present sanitary measures in keeping it in the best condition is undeniable.

I reiterate, etc.,

Juan F. O’Farrill.