File No. 437.00/13.

The President of the United States to the President of Cuba.

My Dear Mr. President:

I have read with much interest and pleasure your kind letter of July 6, wherein you so cordially offer me your felicitations upon the twenty-fifth anniversary of my wedding, and refer to the general political condition and the marked prosperity in the Cuban Republic. It is indeed gratifying for me to learn of the prosperous conditions that prevail in this neighboring Republic in whose foundation the United States was so vitally interested.

[Response to omitted portion of letter from President Gómez.]

I now refer to that portion of your letter wherein you thank me for having consented to act as arbitrator in the adjudication of the claims of certain European Governments against Cuba which have arisen out of damages and injuries caused their nationals in the wars for Cuban independence. It is with deep regret, my dear Mr. President, that I am obliged to inform you that when I indicated to Minister Rivero my willingness to undertake this task, should the claimant nations join in a request to that end, I was not wholly aware of circumstances which seem to render my undertaking of such a duty impossible. I refer to the fact that claims exactly similar to those of European Governments exist in favor of American citizens and, therefore, it would not be possible for this Government to join with the Governments of the other claimant nations in a request for its own chief executive to undertake to sit in judgment of claims of American citizens.

Thanking-you most cordially for your kind wishes, which I most sincerely reciprocate,

I am, etc.,

William H. Taft.