837.852/8–2847: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Embassy in Cuba


431. Prior to telling Barón35 that we would recommend Maritime Commission release ships if Order 20 were revoked, we gave most complete study to possibility of making some agreement which would provide necessary safeguards for US vessels. (Urtel 511, Aug 28).36 It was concluded this would be impracticable owing to fact that even in US, agreement, which would have to be reciprocal could not by-pass our Congress without its consent. We could not ask Cuba to freeze status quo if we were not prepared to do so in this country which we definitely are not. We will simply have to await treaty and Dept does not feel that holding up these ships will hasten treaty in proportion to amount of other differences it will create.

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[By telegram 537, September 15, 4 p.m., the Embassy informed the Department that General Order No. 20 of the Cuban Maritime Commission was cancelled on September 12, 1947 (837.852/9–1547).

The Department recommended in a memorandum of September 24, 1947, that the Maritime Commission favorably consider the sale to the Cuban Government of the four vessels of the C1MAV1 type (837.852/9–1547).

The Commissioner, United States Maritime Commission (Parkhurst), in letter of October 29, informed Assistant Secretary of State Armour that the Commission had authorized the sale of four C1MAV1’s to the Republic of Cuba (837.852/10–2947).]

  1. The Acting Secretary of State informed the Embassy in Cuba, in telegram 425, August 26, 1947, 4 p.m., that the Cuban Chargé (Barón) had been informed that the Department would recommend the sale of four merchant vessels provided Resolution 20 was abolished (837.852/8–2547). General Order No. 20 of the Cuban Maritime Commission, concerning the utilization of small vessels, was one of the more objectionable shipping decrees considered by the Department to be detrimental to United States shipping.
  2. Not printed: in this telegram Ambassador Norweb emphasized that cancellation of Resolution 20 would not prevent issuance of new and more drastic resolution once the ships were delivered. It was accordingly recommended by the Embassy that special agreement affording necessary safeguards for US vessels be obtained as contingent requirement in proposed transaction, and that such agreement could be superseded by suitable provisions in the commercial treaty if and when negotiated. (837.852/8–2847)