The Ambassador in Cuba (Crowder) to the Secretary of State

No. 730

Sir: I have the honor to refer the Department to previous reports from me at the time when I was Special Representative of the President regarding an Amnesty Bill which has been before the Cuban Congress for over three years.

I had addressed President Zayas on the subject on June 16, November 10, and December 9, 1921,1 and on February 6, 1923, I quoted to the President a passage contained in a telegram dated November 4, 1922, from the Cuban Chargé d’Affaires in Washington to his Government (see my Special Mission despatch No. C–S–258, February 3, 19232) in connection with the Loan Statute, to the following effect:

“That this Government (i. e. of the United States) when granting said authorization, wished to express its great worry regarding two matters, that is: First, the Amnesty recently voted by the Cuban Senate, and, secondly, the possibility of changes being attempted in the present Cabinet, and from the phrases and tone used by the Sub-Secretary, I deduct that this Government would be greatly displeased and alarmed by the realization of any of these two propositions.”

When this Amnesty Bill was again actively being considered by the House of Representatives, I once more addressed the President, on April 22, 1924, and reminded him of my letter of February 6, 1923, and of the above quotation.

The Cuban House of Representatives on April 22, 1924, rejected the Senate amendments to the original Amnesty Bill of 1921, and appointed a committee of five of its members to confer with a similar committee of the Senate and to report on the Bill, Upon being reported by this joint committee, the Senate passed it on May 26, [Page 610] 1924, and at midnight it was, with unseemly haste, passed by the House. The votes were 13 to 4 in the Senate, and 62 to 18 in the House.

As I deemed it of importance that the President, before acting upon this bill, should have before him the views of this Embassy, I wrote a further letter to President Zayas under date of May 30, 1924, in which I reviewed the original bill as revised by the Congress in order that the comments of the Embassy might be responsive to the bill awaiting the President’s action. A copy of this letter is transmitted herewith for the information of the Department.3

The President has not as yet signed the bill but according to newspaper forecasts he is likely to do so.4 Even though he should vetoit, the significant majority with which it passed both Houses would probably ensure its being passed over his veto.

I have [etc.]

E. H. Crowder
  1. Notes of June 16 and Nov. 10 not found in Department files. Note of Dec. 9 not printed; see telegram no. 149, Dec. 10, 1921, from Crowder, Foreign Relations, 1921, vol. i, p. 768. For excerpts from these three notes, see letter of June 2, 1924, from President Zayas to the Ambassador, post, p. 611.
  2. Foreign Relations, 1923, vol. i, p. 838.
  3. Not printed.
  4. The Ambassador informed the Department on June 5 that President Zayas signed the amnesty bill that day.