File No. 437.00/14.

The Secretary of State to the American Minister.

No. 380.]

Sir: The Department acknowledges the receipt of your No. 991, of July 11, in which you state, etc.

In reply you are informed that the President indicated his willingness to Minister Rivero to act as arbitrator in this matter, provided the claimant nations should join in requesting him to accept such a responsibility. Since, however, there are claims of American citizens of exactly the same nature, it will not be possible for this Government to take part in a joint request such as the President contemplated, and he has, therefore, declined to act as arbitrator in this matter. The President has so informed President Gómez in a personal note.

When you have occasion to communicate with the minister for foreign affairs in regard to this matter you may informally intimate to him that perhaps the best way to adjudicate these claims would be for the Government of Cuba to organize a national commission for that purpose, to be composed of one Cuban, one foreigner of the same nationality as the alien whose claim is to be heard, and a third member who should act as president of the tribunal, and who might be an American citizen. Such a plan would seem to insure the protection of the alien claimants, and at the same time to establish a means of adjudication more in consonance with the desires of the Republic of Cuba since it would be the establishment, not of an international claims commission, but of a domestic commission.

I am, etc.,

P. C. Knox.