The Secretary of State to the Chargé in Cuba (White)
147. The Department is very much dissatisfied at the failure to make progress in reaching a solution of the rice situation. It appears that the President of Cuba has not fulfilled the promises which he made and that the Secretary of Agriculture, while negotiating apparently sympathetically with the representatives of the Rice Association, has never presented the results of these negotiations to the President, but after apparently reaching an understanding, devised methods of delay and submits constantly changing plans, so that nothing is accomplished. The rice exporters are convinced that the Cuban Government intends to trifle with the negotiations until the time has passed when anything can be done, thus defeating a solution and leading the Cuban merchants to feel that they have the tacit encouragement of the Government in disregarding their obligations. This Government cannot but feel that further delay would amount to a refusal to settle the question, thus causing a very serious financial injury to American interests.[Page 74]
Please impress on the Cuban Government the urgent need for some definite action in this matter and report immediately by telegraph the exact present status of the negotiations.