File No. 437.00/47.
Habana , March 15, 1913 .
Sir: Referring to my despatch No. 612, of January 29, 1913, reporting [etc.] I have the honor further to report that bills carrying out the President’s recommendation have been drafted by the committees on Foreign Affairs, and Justice and Codes, and submitted to the House for consideration.
Both bills in effect contemplate authorizing the President of the Republic to enter into an agreement with the powers concerned for submitting to arbitration the principle involved, that is to say, whether the Republic of Cuba is responsible for damages to property of British, German and French subjects alleged to have been [Page 342] caused by Cuban revolutionary forces in the war of 1895–98. The bill of the Committee on Foreign Affairs authorizes the Executive to enter into an agreement with the interested powers, in the event that the arbitration is decided against Cuba, for the appointment of a commission to which determination of the individual claims shall be referred. This bill further provides that, after the commission in question shall have completed its labors, its findings shall be submitted to Congress for approval in accordance with the “first transitory provision” of the Constitution. The bill of the Committee on Justice and Codes provides that in the event of a decision unfavorable to Cuba, the Executive shall enter into agreement with the claimant powers for the determination of individual claims by a commission, which agreement shall be “submitted to the Senate for approval in accordance article 47 of the Constitution.” It contains no provision for the ultimate submittal of the findings of this commission to Congress, as does the bill of the Committee on Foreign Affairs.
I have [etc.]