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Controversy between the Compañia de los Puertos de Cuba (Cuban Ports Co.) and the Government of Cuba, growing out of the cancellation of the company’s concession with the Cuban Government by the President of Cuba. Good offices of the United States

Editorial Note.—A Concession was granted to the Compañia de los Puertos de Cuba (Cuban Ports Company) by the law of February 20, 1911, to perform dredging work and carry out improvements in the ports of the Republic. Under this law the existing tonnage and port dues were greatly increased, and the amounts so collected were to be paid over to the company for a period of 30 years.

The Government of the United States, under provisions of Article II of Appendix to the Constitution of Cuba, which article also constitutes Article II of the Treaty of May 22, 1903, between the United States and Cuba,8 objected to the requirement of the concession that a specified portion of the ordinary revenues, derived from the import tonnage tax, be paid over to the Cuban Ports Company regardless of whether or not such revenues were necessary to defray the current expenses of the Government, and suggested that the concession be amended.

The concession was amended by a new contract made between President Gomez of Cuba and the Cuban Ports Company on May 13, 1913 in pursuance of Executive decree No. 510, dated May 12, 1913. This decree being considered illegal by President Menocal, was annulled by Executive decree No. 246, of June 18, 1913, and the matter reverted to its original status.

On August 4, 1913, President Menocal signed Executive decree No. 522 stating that the law of February 20, 1911, required the Cuban Ports Company to organize in accordance with Cuban law, that the company had failed to so organize and that it could no [Page 432]longer be regarded as a concessionaire, and directing the Secretary of the Treasury to withhold from the company the port dues thereafter collected, directing the Secretary of Public Works to take charge of all the works performed by the company and directing the Secretary of Justice to take steps to have the charter of the company by judicial procedure declared null and void.

The Cuban Ports Company appealed to the courts against the constitutionality of Executive decree No. 522 and on October 6, 1913, the Supreme Court of Cuba denied the appeal.

The case was before the Courts of Cuba until near the close of the year 1915, when the following correspondence ensued.


[624] The Secretary of State to Chargé Scholle

File No. 837.156/197a


[625] Chargé Scholle to the Secretary of State

File No. 837.156/199


[626] The Secretary of State to Chargé Scholle

File No. 837.156/199


[627] The British Ambassador to the Secretary of State

File No. 837. /207


[628] The Secretary of State to the British Ambassador

File No. 837.156/207


[629] Minister Gonzales to the Secretary of State

File No. 837.156/209


[630] The Acting Secretary of State to Minister Gonzales

File No. 837.156/211a


[631] The Secretary of State to Minister Gonzales

File No. 837.156/223a


[632] Minister Gonzales to the Secretary of State

File No. 837.156/225


[633] The Acting Secretary of State to Minister Gonzales

File No. 837.156/225


[634] Minister Gonzales to the Secretary of State

File No. 837.156/226


[635] The Secretary of State to Minister Gonzales

File No. 837.156/226


[636] The Secretary of State to Minister Gonzales

File No. 837.156/228


[637] Minister Gonzales to the Secretary of State

File No. 837.156/230


[638] Chargé Scholle to the Secretary of State

File No. 837.156/231


[640] The British Ambassador to the Secretary of State

File No. 837.156/235


[642] The Acting Secretary of State to Minister Gonzales

File No. 837.156/237


[643] The Acting Secretary of State to the Attorney for the Cuban Ports Company

File No. 837.156/232


[644] Minister Gonzales to the Secretary of State

File No. 837.156/240


[645] The Secretary of State to Minister Gonzales

File No. 837.156/240


[646] The Secretary of State to Minister Gonzales

File No. 837.156/250


[647] Minister Gonzales to the Secretary of State

File No. 837.156/250


[648] Minister Gonzales to the Secretary of State

File No. 837.156/254


[649] [Untitled]

File No. 837.156/256


[650] The Acting Secretary of State to Minister Gonzales

File No. 837.156/256


[651] Minister Gonzales to the Secretary of State

File No. 837.156/257


[652] [Untitled]

File No. 837.156/261


[653] [Untitled]

File No. 837.156/263