File No. 711.37/45.
The American Minister to the Secretary of State.
Habana, March 18, 1913.
Sir: Referring to recent telegraphic correspondence in regard to the amnesty bill, and particularly to my telegram of March 15, I have the honor more fully to report upon the motion presented by Speaker Ferrara and others to the House of Representatives on March 14.
This motion recites in preamble that it is currently reported in the press and elsewhere that in the past few days the Cuban Executive has received “repeated notes” from the Government of the United States affirming that the provisions of the Platt Amendment are opposed to the “measure of clemency” contemplated in the amnesty bill; and while the “representatives of the nation” have not been unaware that for some time one of the parties to the Platt Amendment has been giving it a “broad and erroneous construction,” they believe, nevertheless, that if current reports about the notes concerning the amnesty are true, the action of the United States is a “patent violation of the national sovereignty” of Cuba.
“Be it therefore resolved”, the motion continues, “that the House appoint a committee of its members, chosen from the several political parties, for the purpose of investigating whether the Government of the United States has formulated demands upon the Government of Cuba which might be regarded as harmful to the sovereignty of Cuba; and that the said committee shall, with the urgency which the question requires, report its findings to the House.”
Another motion upon the same subject, signed also by Ferrara and others, was presented at yesterday’s session. This motion recites that there is an insistent public demand in Cuba for an authoritative definition “of the true and rightful scope of the Platt Amendment”, in view of the many “contradictory interpretations in its application” by the American Government, and cites in this connection the recent utterances of Senator Bacon on this subject in the United States Senate. The motion then provides for a resolution declaring—
- First, that the Cuban people have always regarded the Platt Amendment compatible with their independence and self-government with certain restrictions, which in order to guarantee that independence, the several clauses thereof provide.
- Second, that the [Cuban] Congress will oppose any act of a foreign power contrary to the lawful rights of Cuba, and will start a friendly propaganda before the American Congress and people in order to procure the definition and [Page 363] application of the Platt Amendment in the sense most favorable to the rights of the [Cuban] Government as recognized in the joint resolution.
I have [etc.]