837.24/11–1745: Airgram

The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Cuba (Norweb)27

A–1710. Reference is made to Embassy’s airgram A–2117 of November 15 and to its telegram 741 of November 1628 regarding proposed purchase of corvettes, launches, police cars, etc., and to the Department’s secret instruction no. 48 of August 2529 referring to delinquent Lend-Lease reimbursement.

The Cuban Chargé30 was today called to Department and was informed that it is our opinion that Cuba should not delay longer in its outstanding and overdue Lend-Lease obligations.

It was observed that the Cuban Government’s prospective purchases of corvettes (amounting to one million dollars) [and] launches pointed up its ability to pay for the materials and equipment already received.

The Chargé was also told that amongst the other American republics having Lend-Lease Agreement, Cuba was one of the very few governments that had not yet made payments and that many of the other governments that had made payment were in a much less favorable financial situation than prevails in Cuba. The amount due last August, and still unpaid, is $2,117,000.37

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Please bring this situation to the attention of the President and of the Foreign Office, expressing the surprise felt in Washington that this pending obligation has not been met despite the five statements of account that have been presented to date.

  1. R. Henry Norweb presented his credentials on July 24, 1945.
  2. Neither printed.
  3. Not printed.
  4. José T. Barón.
  5. In instruction 5198, May 19, 1945, the Department had indicated that through February 28, 1945, the total charges for defense matériel amounted to $3,133,927.08 and that Cuba owed $1,828,000 (837.24/4-2145).