837.00/3530: Telegram

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

68. A major problem in the present situation in Cuba is the fact that the university is closed owing to the unwillingness of both professors and students to permit any continuation of university activities under present conditions.

In discussing this condition yesterday with the President we came to the conclusion that the attempt should be made to change the institution from a government-controlled university to an independent organization operating under the control of a self-perpetuating board of trustees entirely removed from governmental influence, the Government merely contributing in the annual budget the amount necessary to make possible the carrying on of the university work.

The President advised me that he was very anxious to obtain the services of some competent American authority who could come to Habana to study the situation and draw up for the benefit of the Government a charter comprising the essential points above-indicated.

I beg to request that the Department endeavor to obtain the services of an American expert along these lines. I have reason to believe that the Government would not only be willing to enact immediately whatever legislation were to be recommended by him but also that [Page 299] this particular solution would eliminate to a great extent the unrest which now exists to such an extreme degree among the student groups in Cuba.