837.51/2817: Telegram

The Chargé in Cuba ( Briggs ) to the Secretary of State

139. The Minister of Hacienda called this noon to voice considerable criticism of the alleged uncooperativeness of some of the Habana banks with reference to his proposed short term $3,000,000 credit operation (he has hoped to meet the anticipated deficit by placing 1,000,000 with the banks, 1,000,000 with the insurance companies and the balance with the hacendados).

The heads of the three American banks called this afternoon at my request. I explained that the Embassy was of course making no recommendation but that I hoped an informal discussion of the general situation might be helpful. I pointed out that in my opinion Dr. García Montes is making very creditable efforts in connection with government finances; also that the American Government is shortly to cooperate by furnishing a requested mission to help establish a central bank et cetera.

The Chase Bank is apparently fully willing to participate in the credit operation. The National City Bank seems willing if somewhat unenthusiastic. The Boston Bank takes a legalistic and critical view of the whole proceedings (as apparently does the Royal Bank of Canada).

The Minister now tells me that he is investigating the possibility of carrying out the operation on a smaller scale with certain of the banks separately instead of through the clearing house.

Briggs