File No. 811.304M28/45.

President Taft to the President of Cuba.

Your Excellency: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your kind letter of December 6, in which you suggest that it would meet the general sentiment of the Cuban people if some part of the United States war vessel Maine, which sunk in the harbor of Habana, be given to the Cuban Government for the purpose of enabling that Government to make it a part of a monument commemorative of the historic friendship and bond of affection between the two peoples.

I can say to you in this unofficial and personal way that if I have the authority to make the order, as I think I have, I shall be glad to do so as soon as occasion calls for action. I have notified the Secretary of War to bring the matter to the attention of the Army engineers in charge, and shall ask the Secretary of State, when the matter is ready for formal direction, to bring it to your attention through diplomatic channels.

With assurances, etc.,

W. H. Taft.