837.0131/48: Telegram

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

70. President Machado requests me to extend to Professor McBain his official invitation to come to Cuba to formulate recommendations for amendments to the electoral code.22

The President likewise invites Professor McBain to undertake for the Cuban Government the drafting of a charter for an independent university, and extends his invitation as well to any expert assistant such as the member of the faculty of the Columbia University suggested by Professor McBain whom Professor McBain may indicate.

President Machado has likewise requested me to ascertain the remuneration desired by Professor McBain and his assistant. I suggest that if it is possible for Professor McBain to accept the position under such conditions he should not ask for remuneration in excess of $230 a month which is the amount now being paid to the members of the Cabinet. He should, of course, request in addition to such compensation all travelling and subsistence expenses. The remuneration of his assistant should be proportionate. The President will be willing to pay any remuneration desired by Professor McBain but should the salary given him be in excess of that of the members of the Cuban Cabinet it would unquestionably give rise to considerable popular opposition which it is desirable to avoid at this time.

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I beg to request that I be advised of the approximate date of Professor McBain’s arrival. The latter should cable his formal acceptance of the invitation directly to President Machado.

  1. Howard Lee McBain, Dean of Graduate Faculties, Columbia University, arrived in Habana June 30.