The Minister in Cuba ( Long ) to the Secretary of State
[Received April 24.]
Sir: I have the honor to advise you that Mr. George B. Hayes reached Havana last Friday morning and that four hours thereafter we conferred with President Menocal who, when informed by Mr. Hayes that he was willing to settle on the basis mentioned in my recent telegrams, called in the Director of Public Works and advised him to prepare an “acta” which would embody the indespensable points relating to the contract and the method of settlement. Colonel Villalón was instructed by the President to go over the draft of the proposed “acta” with Mr. Hayes, so it might be signed at three o’clock on Monday afternoon.
About 10 o’clock Monday, April 19th, Mr. Hayes came here with a draft prepared by Colonel Villalón, the second clause of which contained a reference to pressure which had been brought upon Cuba by the United States Government. The expressions used were, in my opinion susceptible of various interpretations and I immediately visited the President and after some discussion with Villalón made [Page 107] arrangements for the modification of the phraseology which were assented to by General Menocal. I desired to eliminate all allusions to the international character of the contract, but Colonel Villalón insisted that the real thing which inspired the Cuban Government to settle was the pressure from our Government, and thought it inappropriate to omit such a reference. I held the ground that our representations looked to an arbitration, but that President Menocal chose the more direct method. The discussion was all of a friendly nature, and after making the clause as innocuous as possible it was permitted to stand.
Enclosed please find copy of the original draft97 as prepared by Colonel Villalón and of the modified draft as signed. Unfortunately an absence of clerks in this Legation prohibits my forwarding translations of the above.
The Secretary of Finance delivered to Mr. Hayes at 10:30 this morning the order to receive the Cuban bonds deposited with Speyer and Company, and the certificates to be exchanged for the bonds, thus closing the transaction.
I hope the part I have played in this matter may meet with the Department’s approval.
I have [etc.]
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