837.51 Public Works Debt/328

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

No. 605

Sir: I have the honor to refer to various despatches of the Embassy with reference to the settlement of the obligations due by the Cuban Government to Warren Brothers and Purdy and Henderson, and to transmit herewith a memorandum covering a part of a conversation which Secretary Hull had with President Laredo Brú on July 30. This reference to the obligations took place during an informal conversation which Secretary Hull had with the President on the occasion of a courtesy call which the Secretary made on the President.

Respectfully yours,

George S. Messersmith
[Page 757]

Memorandum by the Ambassador in Cuba (Messersmith) of a Conversation Between the Secretary of State and the President of Cuba (Laredo Brú)

During the course of the Habana Conference the Secretary of State, Mr. Hull, indicated a desire to pay a courtesy call on the President of Cuba, Dr. Laredo Brú, in addition to the call which he made on the President, together with the other delegates to the Habana Conference. The call took place on July 30 at 11:30 a.m., and I accompanied the Secretary.

The Secretary and the President talked informally on a number of matters and exchanged views on matters of common interest. It is not necessary to make a record of the conversation, except in the following respect:

During the course of the conversation Secretary Hull spoke of the importance of orderly and stable governments in this hemisphere, as elsewhere, and of the necessity of governments maintaining their obligations. In this connection the Secretary expressed to the President his gratification that the President had recently taken the initiative in order to secure a settlement of the obligations due Warren Brothers and Purdy and Henderson. The Secretary spoke in general of the importance of governments meeting such obligations and indicated that the various agencies of our Government would find it impossible to cooperate with Cuba in a program of economic assistance of any kind unless these obligations were met. The President replied that he thoroughly understood the importance of the settlement of these obligations; that for that reason he had very recently again taken the initiative; that he was pressing the matter of settlement as hard as he could; and that he had spoken to Colonel Batista, the President-Elect, to impress upon him the importance of the matter. The President said that Colonel Batista had indicated that he did understand the importance of immediate settlement and that he had pledged himself to do all in his power to bring about such immediate settlement. The President said that this matter was now of more importance to the President-Elect than it was to him, as his functions would cease in a few months. He was, however, prepared to do everything in his power to bring about a settlement before the President-Elect took over his office, and he was working to that end.

The President expressed to Secretary Hull his belief that the matter of the obligations would be settled within a very brief period.

G[eorge] S. M[essersmith]