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

No. 2

Sir: Referring to the Embassy’s telegram No. 37 of May 4, 5 p.m., I have the honor to transmit herewith a copy and translation of a note which the Cuban Secretary of State addressed to the Chargé d’Affaires ad interim on May 2, 1933,9 in reply to my predecessor’s letter of March 24, 1933, to President Machado, in which he expressed the assumption that certain deferred payment certificates, whose issuance was authorized by an executive decree of March 13, 1933, [Page 569] would not be issued until the Government of the United States had been apprised of the pertinent facts upon which it could reach a decision as to whether or not it should interpose objections under Article II of the Permanent Treaty.

Dr. Ferrara, in this note, furnishes the desired data, but with the specific reservation that, as his Government does not consider that it is obliged to do so by any treaty provision in force between the two governments, its compliance with the Embassy’s request in this instance shall not be regarded as constituting a precedent. He also explains at some length his Government’s interpretation of its rights and obligations under the Permanent Treaty. His statements in this connection and his insistence upon the Cuban Government’s freedom of action in financial transactions of the kind under discussion are respectfully submitted for the Department’s careful consideration.

From a practical standpoint I am inclined to concur in the Cuban Government’s contention that no infraction of the treaty provision is entailed by the issuance of deferred payment certificates having no definite date of maturity and secured by revenues established by law for the specific purpose for which the expenditure is authorized. I feel, however, that there are aspects of the matter concerning which it would be well to have the opinion of the Department’s legal adviser and I shall, therefore, await the receipt of the Department’s instructions before making any reply to the note.10

Respectfully yours,

Sumner Welles
  1. Note not printed.
  2. No instructions were issued. With the signature of the treaty of relations, May 29, 1934, between the United States and Cuba (Treaty Series No. 866), the matter was evidently considered closed.