File No. 837.13/4.
The American Minister to the Secretary of State.
Habana, January 9, 1913.
Sir: Referring to the Department’s telegram of January 6, 7 p.m., I have the honor to report that I had an interview with President Gomez this morning regarding the amnesty bill recently passed by the Cuban House of Representatives and explained to him the fears of the Government of the United States that if the bill should become law, including, as it does, other than political offenders, an unfortunate impression would be created that common crimes were allowed to go unpunished in Cuba, and that thus crime was not dealt with in the manner found necessary in all countries for the adequate protection of life, property, and individual liberty. I made this apprehension quite clear to the President, and stated that it arose from the friendly interest which the Government of the United States necessarily takes in such matters.[Page 356]
The President said, in reply, that he thoroughly agreed with the views of the United States Government in this matter; that, as a matter of fact, he had never read the amnesty bill; that he would at once send for it, examine it, and then take such action as he could to comply with your expressed opinions, so that at any rate if the bill should pass it would grant amnesty only to political offenders.
I also called at the Cuban Foreign Office and made similar statements to Mr. Patterson, the Subsecretary of State.
I have [etc.]