837.00/1949: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Minister in Cuba (Long)

3. Your 1 and 2, January 3, 5 and 7 p.m.

You may state to President Menocal and to the Minister of Foreign Affairs that on account of the special relations existing’ between Cuba and the United States it has not been customary, nor is it considered necessary, for the President of the United States to obtain the prior consent of the President of Cuba to send a special representative to confer with him regarding conditions seriously affecting the interests of both Cuba and the United States. Department’s December 31, 6 p.m.4 explained clearly the fundamental reasons for the visit of General Crowder and in the opinion of this [Page 672] Government should have made plain to President Menocal the friendly purpose of General Crowder’s mission.

The White House yesterday issued the following statement which clearly shows the purpose of General Crowder’s mission and should meet any reasonable objections of President Menocal:

“Upon instructions of the President, Major General Enoch H. Crowder has sailed for Havana, Cuba, on the U.S.S. Minnesota. General Crowder goes to Cuba to confer with President Menocal regarding conditions in Cuba. The moratorium and financial crisis in Cuba continue, the solution of which appears more difficult on account of the unsettled Presidential election. A continuation of the present situation would prove most detrimental to the prosperity of Cuba and harmful to the relations between the United States and Cuba. As this cannot but be a matter of the closest concern to this Government because of the special relations existing between the two countries, the President has instructed General Crowder to confer with President Menocal as to the best means of remedying the situation.”

You may then state to President Menocal that the President of the United States confidently expects that at the earliest possible moment after General Crowder’s arrival he will be received in order to discuss the situation fully and to consider what measures may be necessary to alleviate the present intolerable situation.6

You may state to President Menocal in conclusion that this Government earnestly desires to avoid the necessity of taking any measures which could be construed as intervention or as supervision of Cuba’s domestic affairs; confidence is felt that such measures can be avoided if President Menocal adopts a receptive attitude in regard to General Crowder’s advice and just recommendations which the President has instructed him to convey to the President of Cuba.

You may also inform President Menocal that the above determination was reached by President Wilson after President Menocal’s views as expressed to you were conveyed to him.

  1. Foreign Relations, 1920, vol. ii, p. 43.
  2. This paragraph and the two paragraphs which follow have been paraphrased.