103.9169: Telegram

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

71. For Gardiner and Fraser FEA35 from Davis. Contrary to the promise given us during first part December to previously discuss with us his decision relative to laborers petition for reinstatement in Santiago, Minister of Labor36 signed four resolutions against USCCA37 ordering reinstatement of four employees and declaring [Page 970] resolution No. 7 of October 1943 unconstitutional. Seventeen laborers’ petitions still pending.

Officials of Embassy and I again discussed this situation with Minister last night and have agreed not to contest the four resolutions but specifically requested favorable action on other 17 petitions inasmuch as USCCA acted in good faith under previous official resolution. In other words we requested that Minister’s resolution declaring resolution No. 7 of October 1943 unconstitutional not be retroactive. Minister expects to consult with Cabinet Ministers on Monday February 5 and will notify us of their decision in this matter. We advised Minister we would prefer to see resolution No. 7 remain in effect but should “expendientes” be required in future before dismissal of employees can be made we will conform to Cuban Government’s ruling. Will advise further details next week.

Meeting has been called in Santiago for Wednesday February 14 to present union’s demands to USCCA for contract. As we are not liquidating USCCA as rapidly as we believed last fall I see no valid reason for refusing to enter into contract particularly in view of telegram 896 of November 20 from Department of State to Ambassador.38 I expect to go to Santiago for hearing and upon presentation of their demands by the union I will inform them that demands will be submitted to FEA in Washington for decision and that our answer must be held in abeyance for 30 days in order to give Washington an opportunity to make their decision. Please give this matter your preferred attention and I suggest you communicate with me by telephone not later than Friday February 9 as I shall leave for Santiago on Monday February 12 to prepare for meeting. [Davis.]

  1. Foreign Economic Administration.
  2. Carlos Azcárate Rosell.
  3. United States Commercial Company Agency, usually abbreviated USCC. This agency of the United States Government was directing certain strategic mining operations abroad in support of the war effort.
  4. Not printed, but for essence, see telegram 94 to Habana, p. 971.