File No. 837.156/197a

The Secretary of State to Chargé Scholle


Department is informed that suit of the Cuban Ports Company is scheduled for twenty-first instant.

Apparent desire of President Menocal to reach a settlement along lines of reason and equity, while safeguarding the financial and moral reputation of Cuba, prompts Department to render him all proper assistance in his worthy effort. If a decision against the company should be reached the present Administration could not appear to make concessions to the company, whereas if the decision reversed the Government’s former attitude, the Administration would suffer loss of prestige. It does not therefore appear that pressure of pending suit would aid that settlement in the spirit in which the President is understood to desire it, but might easily occasion embarrassment. While the Department has no intention or desire to intervene in Cuban court proceedings, it would be gratified if it might see the present legal status maintained, at least until the President’s efforts for amicable settlement on behalf of Cuban interests and of the investors involved, have proved futile.

You will, therefore, informally advise the Foreign Office in this sense, with a view to obtaining, if possible, an adjournment of the case and, at the same time, discreetly according the President the support of this Government, which he is understood to consider essential to the accomplishment of his plan of settlement. Minister Gonzales suggests that, in addition, a copy of your memorandum be sent to the President in a personal communication.

For your confidential information, the potential attitude of the British bondholders, as expressed through the British Embassy, might prove embarrassing to Cuba and onerous to this Government, in the event of decision being rendered in the pending suit.

Report by cable.