The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Cuba ( Crowder )
57. Your 47, July 11, 5 p.m.
The Under Secretary of State handed the following Aide-Memoire to the Cuban Chargé this afternoon who promised to telegraph it to his Government this evening:
“The Department of State recently received a report to the effect that the Cuban House of Representatives on the evening of July 10, passed a bill previously passed by the Senate reorganizing the national lottery on the basis of 2000 colecturias instead of the 961 now existing, and furthermore authorizing the sale of the tickets at whatever price they would command. The Department’s information indicated that great secrecy was observed regarding this bill, the terms of which are reported to be as stated above, although the Department has not yet received a copy thereof. The Department hopes that the information which it has received is incorrect, and that no such measure, which would inevitably result in the breakdown of the moralization program, is under contemplation by the Cuban Government.
In this connection the Department begs to refer to a letter written on April 30, 1921, to General Crowder by President Zayas,10 some [Page 845] three weeks before the latter assumed the high office he now occupies, in which he stated that the national lottery ‘should be the object of modification, as regards the sale of the tickets, so as to avoid having their legal price altered, and having this transaction be the means of undue profit to persons mediating between the Government and the venders.’ On April 28, 1921,11 President Zayas assured General Crowder that he would, within a period of five months, make sweeping reforms in the national lottery, particularly in the colecturia system.
This Government has been gratified at the assurances several times received from President Zayas that he will completely carry out the moralization program outlined by Ambassador Crowder. The United States Government is confident, therefore, that President Zayas will not support a bill such as the one reported above which, if enacted into law, would undo the work already accomplished in the lottery reform and would render impossible the effective carrying out of the moralization program, of which the lottery reform is one of the principal features, in the interest of the fundamental conditions of Cuban stability and prosperity.”