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

No. 315

Sir: The Department refers to your despatch No. 550 of January 11, 1929, in which you stated that the matter of the Harrah claim had been submitted by President Machado to a committee of lawyers for the purpose of determining whether or not it can be appropriately submitted to arbitration and that the early decision of the committee was expected. You suggest that in the meantime the Department should transmit to you a draft of the proposed agreement in order that it may be studied by the committee in connection with its examination of the question submitted to it by President Machado.

There is transmitted herewith for your information a draft of an arbitral agreement between the United States and Cuba,29 in which it is proposed to refer the case of the claim of Charles J. Harrah to an arbitrator for the purpose of ascertaining the liability of the [Page 915] Cuban Government in the premises and the amount of damages that should be awarded to Mr. Harrah. The Department has no objection to your furnishing President Machado with a copy of the proposed agreement. The Department, of course, is interested in learning that President Machado has sought the advice of the three lawyers mentioned, but obviously the United States can not be bound by the report of such committee.

The Department is convinced that this is a proper matter for arbitration and if arbitration is declined it must insist that upon the record as it now stands, the liability of the Cuban Government has been established and the amount of damages sustained is the only question which should be considered. The negotiations regarding this claim have been long drawn out. The proposal of arbitration was submitted by you to the Cuban Government in the month of August, last. In view of the length of time which has elapsed since such submission and the delays of the Cuban Government prior thereto, you are requested to say to President Machado that you are instructed to insist upon an early decision in the matter and that it is difficult for your Government to understand why there should be so much delay in replying to its proposal for the arbitration of a case justiciable in character and which, unless the Cuban Government is willing to effect a settlement otherwise, it must be admitted is one properly to be submitted to an arbitral tribunal.

I am [etc.]

Frank B. Kellogg
  1. Not printed.