File No. 837.77/75.

The American Minister to the Secretary of State.


I am convinced that the British Embassy has not been correctly informed. No vested rights in the country between Nuevitas and Caibarién belong to the Cuban Central, the company’s interest lying wholly west and south of Caibarién. The “concession” referred to is merely the Railroad Commission’s approval of plans for constructing a road from Nuevitas to Caibarién along a route chosen by the company, north of the hills. Any company or individual may upon fulfilling the simple requirements of the law at any time obtain such [Page 385] approval for any number of roads from Nuevitas to Caibarién. The Cuban Central has not actually begun building, but has only broken ground, in order technically to set up this contention when it became evident that the bill would certainly pass. The Cuban Central people did not originate the project but became interested in it after the rival company had formulated it and a bill had been presented in Congress. They have merely been rival suitors for the subvention, but insisting that the road should be constructed northward of the hills as far as Moron through a narrow valley settled and occupied by an American railroad which has not received a subvention. Congress, keeping in mind the principal purposes of subventions, chose almost unanimously the route south of the hills, where the country was unsettled and needed development, in preference to the northern route through country already developed. The Cuban Central people have said that they do not want the southern route, because, on account of costly construction, the venture would be an unprofitable one. Their purpose, apparently, in drawing plans for the northern route, filing them with the Railroad Commission, and then breaking ground, has been to influence Congress into adopting that route.