837.24/1108: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Cuba ( Braden )

279. Reference Embassy’s A–356, February 24, 9 a.m. The Department has discussed with Export-Import Bank the matter of making machinery and equipment available to the Cuban War and Navy [Page 243] Departments. The Bank believes and the Department concurs that it would be unwise for the Bank to approve the use of funds under public works loan for the purchase of equipment to be used elsewhere than on projects it has approved. The Bank believes such action would violate Cuban law authorizing loan and agreement signed thereunder. The Department also understands from Montoulieu90 that the Comisión de Fomento Nacional has recently adopted resolution that equipment would be used only on projects approved by Bank.

In view of the foregoing and of the prospective arrival of Colonel Covell,91 you may wish to suggest to the proper Cuban officials that, if War and Navy Departments are interested in purchasing San Antonio de los Baños equipment with Cuban Government funds, the representatives should be prepared to confer with Colonel Covell and representatives of the Comisión when he arrives at Habana.92

  1. Eduardo Montoulieu, Cuban Minister of State.
  2. Gordon Covell, responsible for United States Army engineering construction in Cuba.
  3. In airgrams A–1096 June 3, from the Ambassador, and A–1142, June 8, from The Chargé in Cuba, it was indicated that the construction equipment would be purchased from the United States War Department by the Cuban Government (837.24/1443, 1471).