File No. 837.156/129.

The Secretary of State to the American Minister.


Habana bridge matter. Your despatch January 10, No. 587. This matter has been considered by the War and the Navy Departments [Page 372] in relation to the interests of the United States and of Cuba, irrespective of the controversy between the coal company and the bridge company. In an opinion recently submitted the Navy Department points out that even under the amended plans the bridge threatens seriously to congest traffic in the narrow harbor entrance and to embarrass the movements of the larger ships; and it emphasizes the consideration that if, either in peace or war, any part of the span were to fall, which could easily be effected with a charge of dynamite, it would close the harbor, shut in vessels on the inside and keep out vessels on the outside.

Inform the Cuban Government of the substance of the foregoing and add that the Department believes that upon consideration thereof the Cuban Government will not be willing to go on with a project so seriously threatening the trade and military interests of the two Governments.

If you find opposition to this view, you will request delay or suspension of action until the two Governments shall have further opportunity to discuss the matter.