File No. 837. /207

The British Ambassador to the Secretary of State

Dear Mr. Secretary: In a memorandum dated October 141 you were so good as to inform me that telegraphic instructions had been [Page 434] sent to the American Chargé d’Affaires at Habana asking him to inform the Cuban Government that while entertaining no intention or desire to intervene in the proceedings of the Cuban courts the Department of State would be gratified if the trial of the pending suit of the Cuban Ports Company might be postponed and the present legal status maintained, at least until the efforts of the President of Cuba to effect a settlement mutually satisfactory to Cuban interests and to the investors, had proved futile.

On October 20 the President of Cuba received His Majesty’s Minister and assured him, as he had done on previous occasions, of his determination to come to an equitable settlement with the investors in the company whatever the decision of the Supreme Court might be, but stated that he felt he could not interfere with the action of the Court. Señor Menocal explained to Mr. Leech that his position would be much stronger after the case had been heard by the Supreme Court and that he could then obtain the support of certain elements whose present opposition was due to self-interest.

Whilst the reiterated assurances of President Menocal to come to an amicable understanding show his good intention; His Majesty’s Government would be grateful if, in the probable event of the decision of the Supreme Court being adverse to the company, the United States Government would see fit to continue to use their good offices in bringing about a settlement of this question favourable to the bondholders and stockholders.

You will understand that it is naturally the sincere desire of my Government as evidenced by the attitude of Mr. Leech, who has consistently cooperated with his American colleague in affording the President of Cuba every opportunity of arriving at an amicable settlement, to avoid being placed in the position of having to address to the Cuban Government any formal protest or demand which might cause embarrassment in the premises both to the Cuban Government and to the United States Government.

I am [etc.]

Cecil Spring Rice
  1. Not printed