837.01/59: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Personal Representative of the President ( Caffery )

6. Your No. 4, January 6, 2 p.m.4 For Caffery. The Embassy in London reports under date of January 65 a conversation had with the Foreign Office. The latter explained, under instructions from the Acting Secretary of State that British interests in Cuba had made repeated [Page 94] and increasingly urgent inquiries at the Foreign Office as to British policy, pointing out that they feared the drift of the situation. The Foreign Office stated that recent reports from Habana were more reassuring than the views obtained by the British Ambassador in Washington from the Department of State and that the British Minister in Habana had been instructed to keep in touch with you.

The Foreign Office further stated to the American Chargé d’Affaires in London that they recognized that special considerations were involved in the Cuban situation due to the Piatt Amendment,6 but that had a similar situation existed in some other Latin American country Great Britain would be on the brink of recognizing a regime similar to the Grau San Martín Government. The Foreign Office concluded by referring again to the urgent interests of British capital in Cuba; the friendly nature of their present inquiry regarding the situation and the desire of the British Government to cooperate with the United States in the present situation rather than to take independent action.

The British Ambassador called at the State Department on January 4 and in the course of a conversation with the Acting Secretary on the Cuban situation admitted that the pressure being brought to bear on the British Government to recognize the Grau San Martín regime came from the property owners in Cuba and especially the Britishowned railway interests. He was told that in the opinion of this Government recognition of the present regime in Cuba would be a great mistake; that the sentiment of the Latin American Governments in the great majority was against such recognition. The British Ambassador was given the latest picture of conditions in Cuba. There was no indication from the British Ambassador that actual recognition of the Cuban de facto government would be accorded by the British Government.

  1. Not printed.
  2. Telegram No. 7, January 6, 6 p.m., not printed.
  3. Popular designation for provisions defining relations of the United States with Cuba, contained in treaty signed May 22, 1903, Foreign Relations, 1904, p. 243.