File No. 862.85/171
The Secretary of State to the Minister in Cuba ( Gonzales)
The Department desires you to point out to Cuban Government with reference to previous correspondence respecting the German merchant vessels seized by Cuban Government and turned over to the United States, that under laws of this country vessels can not be granted American registry unless they are American owned, and that in these circumstances it seems that possibly it might be advisable, if no sale of the vessels to the United States can be arranged, that they be registered under Cuban laws and operated under charter to the United States. Department would like to obtain an expression of Cuban Government’s views on this matter as soon as possible.
In connection with consideration of matters before Shipping Board in relation to the ships, Department desires you to obtain all available information respecting the formalities of law observed in turning over these vessels to authorities of this Government, and in connection with the seizure of them by the Cuban authorities, whether there was any prize-court proceeding or any legislative or executive act authorizing seizure, condemnation, or requisition of ships. Mail Department copies of any such acts bearing on these matters.