837.51 Cooperation Program/108

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

No. 2264

Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of the Department’s Instruction no. 711, of June 13, 1941, with reference to my air mail despatch no. 2027, of May 15, 1941, containing certain recommendations of this Embassy with reference to claims, other than the Morris claim, which American nationals may have against the Cuban government. I have noted carefully the Department’s instruction.

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I had already verbally made observations to the Minister of State, Dr. Cortina, with regard to Paragraph Eight of the memorandum of the Cuban government of April 15, 1941. In view of the Department’s instruction under reference, I thought it desirable to take up this matter with him in a more definite way and during the course of a conversation yesterday with Dr. Cortina, I reverted to this matter and left with him an Aide-Mémoire,83 of which a copy is attached to this despatch.

Dr. Cortina said that in including Paragraph Eight in the memorandum of April 15, 1941 he had not intended to state that there were no other claims of American citizens against the Cuban government; he had meant to state that there were no appreciable claims which were being pressed by American citizens against the Cuban government other than the Morris claim.

I told the Minister that while I did not intend to take up specifically with him at this time other claims than the Morris claim, there were a number of what appeared to be well substantiated claims against the Cuban government by American citizens, which were of long standing and which should have received satisfaction before this. Some of them were in considerable amounts. I called his specific attention to the case of the H. C. Nutting Company, of Cincinnati, Ohio, which is mentioned in the Department’s instruction under reply, and said that I would undoubtedly have to revert to this in the near future as the claim appeared to be a well founded one.

Dr. Cortina assured me that established claims of American citizens against the Cuban government would receive attention as rapidly as it was possible for the Cuban government to give it. He spoke of the tremendously difficult situation of the Cuban Treasury at this time and of the fact that the government had just been obliged, much against its will, to make a cut in the salaries of most of the government employees, as well as in other expenditures of the government.

Respectfully yours,

George S. Messersmith
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