The Minister in Cuba (Long) to the Secretary of State
[Received November 2.]
Sir: Referring to previous correspondence in regard to the rice situation, I have the honor to report that I have been approached by [Page 82]the local representatives of the California Rice Association who state that the moratorium85 has materially changed their position and renders questionable whether their difficulties will be met by the proposed decree which the Cuban Government has promised to issue some time between November 1st and 10th.
It was the expectation of the Rice Association that their contracts would be taken up during November after the issuance of the decree but the moratorium effectively prevents any such arrangement being consummated.
The local representatives of the Association are therefore urging on their principals, the advisability of asking the Department to approach the Cuban Government with the view of having it take over the rice stocks now in the Island and for this purpose to approach the American Bankers who are now considering the giving of financial assistance to Cuba with the view of having them underwrite an extra 20 Million dollar loan to the Cuban Government which might be made a part of the larger loan or else be considered as a special loan on specific terms.
The Rice Association fears that unless specific provisions to the contrary are made by the American Bankers in advancing this loan it might be used in giving credits to Cuban merchants who have refused to meet their contracts and who would then be able to buy from the stocks already on hand in Cuba at a cheaper price, merchandise which they refused to accept earlier at the contract price.
I have the honor to request the Department’s instructions as to what action, if any, should be taken by the Legation in regard to this matter.
I have [etc.]