837.00/3514: Telegram

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

44. I was advised this morning by President Machado that you are to have a conference with the Cuban Ambassador in Washington next [Page 291] Monday to discuss commercial problems of interest to both Governments. Since I understood from my last conversation with you that the discussions you will undertake with the Cuban representative in Washington will envisage only a general survey of economic questions, I should appreciate it, provided you see no objection, if the Cuban Ambassador were informed that, after the conclusion of your conversation with him, I am authorized to enter into a preliminary and tentative consideration of the bases for a reciprocal trade agreement between the United States and Cuba. I would naturally in any conversations held here make no commitments whatever, since in any event under present conditions it would be impossible to do so. For the reasons expressed in my telegram number 43, May 13, 6 p.m., my position will be materially strengthened with the Government here if conversations relating to this matter are undertaken by me coincident with any representations I may make to the Cuban Government on other topics. Furthermore, I feel confident that a preliminary discussion in general terms of our future commercial relations with Cuba will, as those held now, serve a very useful purpose in view of the stated desire of the Cuban Government to offer us any advantages which our Government deems desirable.