The Ambassador in Cuba ( Caffery ) to the Secretary of State
[Received March 12.]
Sir: With reference to previous correspondence concerning negotiations for a revision of our reciprocity treaty with Cuba, I have the honor to transmit herewith a tentative draft of certain of the general provisions to be included in the treaty, prepared by our technical advisers. I should appreciate receiving the Department’s instructions with respect to the enclosed draft articles at an early date.
- The American delegation at Habana desires a certain degree of flexibility in the treaty in order to meet readjustments in economic forces. These powers are in large measure already enjoyed by the Presidents of the respective Republics. [Footnote in the original.]↩
The above wording is probably not adequate to safeguard the purposes we have in mind.
Decree No. . . of . . . . . . . provided that Cuban consular fees were to be payable on the basis of Cuban gold. Prior to that date they were payable on the basis of either United States currency or Cuban gold. As a result of this decree, Cuban consular officers were instructed to increase Cuban consular fees by 30%. Representations by the American Embassy led to the recision of this order insofar as consular fees collected in the United States were concerned but it remained in effect with respect to countries other than the United States until the promulgation of Decree No. . . of . . . . . . . .
It is further desired to prevent any possible adoption by Cuba of the Brazilian conversion system in the payment of duties. [Footnote in the original.]↩
The American delegation is not unanimous as to this article because it is feared that the granting of the preferential on the consular fees might be interpreted as an admission by the Cuban Government that this fee is tantamount to an additional import duty. The treaties between Cuba and Spain (and other countries) bind the Cuban import duties on specified products so that this admission might justify a claim on the part of these countries for complete exemption from this charge on the commodities so bound.
As an alternative to the above article the delegation recommends:
“It is agreed that the High Contracting Parties will not impose consular invoice fees on an ad valorem basis in excess of 2½% of the value at the point of origin of the shipment.” [Footnote in the original.]↩
- The American delegation is not in accord as to the removal of causes owing to unreasonable delay and as to the elimination of the present formality of the decisions of the United States Court of Customs and Patent Appeals. [Footnote in the original.]↩