837.00/1504a: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Chargé in Cuba ( Bingham )

Strictly confidential. During Mr. Gonzales’ visit to Washington, he had an extended conference with the Acting Secretary of State and the Chief of the Latin American Division in regard to the present and future political situation in Cuba. The Acting Secretary of State in this conference instructed Mr. Gonzales, immediately upon his return to Havana, to inform the President of Cuba that in the opinion of the Government of the United States it was of the utmost importance that the Government of Cuba should forthwith proceed to take active steps for the reformation of the present Cuban electoral laws and should establish an adequate census in order that the register of voters should be corrected in time for the next presidential election.

Mr. Gonzales was also instructed to impress upon the President the great importance of giving immediate assurances to the public that the next presidential elections would be conducted in a free and fair manner and Mr. Gonzales was directed to endeavor to obtain from the President of Cuba a request that the United States should send a commission to Cuba to aid in the supervision of the elections. At the same time Mr. Gonzales was instructed to obtain from the President a further promise that he would make a public statement as soon as possible along the above lines.

Mr. Gonzales expressed himself as concurring with the Department in its view that these steps were absolutely necessary to secure peace in Cuba.

In view of the cablegram which the Navy Department has received from the Naval Attaché at Havana, stating that serious trouble is anticipated within the next few days, the Department believes that it would be inexpedient to await the arrival of Mr. Gonzales in Cuba in order to communicate the above suggestions and desires to the President of Cuba.

[Page 2]

You are therefore instructed to seek the earliest possible moment to convey the substance of the above to President Menocal.