837.00/3648: Telegram

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

158. The United States Ships Taylor and the Claxton arrived at 1:30 this morning. I have just conferred with Commander Howard and have explained to him that there was in my judgment no reason now to anticipate any necessity for landing even one man. In the later afternoon the General Staff of the Army obtained better control of the situation. People were kept off the streets and patrols were established. In Marianao, a suburb, several casualties occurred and the enlisted men turned on the officers. Looting and burning of houses was extensive. The situation now however is well in hand throughout the city.

President Céspedes has asked me to bring the commanding officers to visit him tomorrow morning.

I feel very confident that the visit of these ships was essential for its moral effect alone. If the strike is broken today as I anticipate conditions may become normal rapidly and in that event the two ships might well leave after 48 hours.