« PreviousContinue »
believe it my duty to ask that your excellency be pleased to instruct the consuls of your country in Colombia, and particularly the consul at Panama, that, in the exercise of their good offices, they protect the citizens of Cuba residing in that Republic, and prevent any wrong to which they may be subjected by the authorities in power in that territory. l'improve this opportunity, etc.,
GONZALO DE QUESADA.
Mr. Adee to Señor Quesada. No. 13.]
DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
Washington, September 13, 1902. SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your note of the 12th ultimo, representing the danger in which citizens of Cuba find themselves during the conflict on the Isthmus of Panama, and asking that instructions be sent to United States consuls in Colombia directing them to exercise their good offices for the protection of your fellow-countrymen.
In reply, I have the honor to say that instructions have been sent to the consuls in Colombia as requested.
I inclose copy of the circular sent to United States consuls on July 21 last, directing them, so far as they should be permitted by the Governments to which they are accredited, to discharge the duties ordinarily devolving upon Cuban consular officers.
It is hoped that, acting under the instructions previously sent to them, the United States consuls in Colombia are affording all proper protection to Cuban citizens standing in need of it. Accept, etc.,
ALVEY A. ADEE,
DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
Washington, July 21, 1902. To the Consular Officers of the United States.
GENTLEMEN: In pursuance of instructions already issued to you through the diplomatic representatives, at the request of the President of Cuba, to use your good offices in representation of the interests of Cuba and its citizens until Cuban consuls shall have been appointed, I now have to inform you that you are expected to discharge, so far as may be permitted by the Governments to which you are accredited, the duties ordinarily devolving upon Cuban consular officers. You will be guided by the instructions in force with respect to consular duties for Cuba prior to May 20, 1902, collecting fees for services performed, in accordance with the tariff of United States consular fees. All fees collected for services performed in pursuance of these instructions are to be kept separate from fees collected for services rendered as officers of the United States, and are to be remitted at the end of each quarter to this Department, with proper returns in duplicate. I am, gentlemen, your obedient servant,
David J. Hill,
Señor Quesada to Mr. Hay.
LEGATION OF CUBA,
Washington, October 27, 1902. EXCELLENCY: I have the honor to advise your excellency that the Republic of Cuba has appointed consuls in different places in America and Europe, and that the said consuls are on their way to their respective posts.
My Government charges me to inform your excellency thereof and to lay before you the testimony of our most sincere acknowledgment of the services rendered in regard to Cuban interests by the diplomatic and consular officers of your nation, and to express the wish of the Government that they may continue rendering such services in countries where the Republic is not yet represented by accredited diplomatic or consular agents.
Each Cuban representative has been specifically instructed to give notice of his entrance into office to the American representative who may be at his post of duty, and I beg that the Secretary will recom mend that the American officers will, as far as practicable, turn over to the consuls of Cuba such documents as appertain to Cuba and are in the possession of the respective officers of the United States. I avail, etc.,
GONZALO DE QUESADA.
Mr. Ilay to Señor Quesada.
DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
Washington, November 15, 1902. Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your note of the 27th ultimo advising the Department that your Government has appointed consular officers in different places in America and Europe, who on their arrival at their posts have been directed to notify the respective United States consuls.
You express the thanks of your Government for the action of the United States consular officers in behalf of Cuban interests, and ask that it may be continued where no Cuban consular officers shall be appointed.
I take pleasure in inclosing copies of the Department's circular issued to United States consuls in view of your note.
As to your request that the United States consular officers should, as far as practicable, deliver to the Cuban consuls all such documents as appertain to Cuba and are in their possession, I have the honor to point out that in performing duties for your Government our officers have acted merely as “consuls of the United States in charge of Cuban interests," and not as “Cuban consuls," and that the papers and documents pertaining to such acts are a part of the records of the United States consulates. Should, however, any particular papers be desired at any time, the United States consuls will be directed to furnish copies to the Cuban consuls. Accept, etc.,
DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
Washington, November 8, 1902. To the Consular Officers of the United States.
GENTLEMEN: Referring to the Department's circular instruction of July 21, 1902, requesting you to use your good offices in behalf of Cuban interests and Cuban citizens, pending the appointment of consuls by the Government of Cuba, I now have to inform you that under date of the 27th ultimo the minister of Cuba at this capital expresses the sincere thanks of the Republic of Cuba for the services rendered, and states that his Government has appointed consuls at various places in Europe and America, and that they are now on their way to their respective posts, each having been instructed to communicate on arrival with the United States consul there.
If no consuls of Cuba have been appointed in the country, to which you are accredited, you will continue to discharge the duties ordinarily devolving upon Cuban consuls, in accordance with the circular instruction of July 21, 1902, until such officers are appointed. I am, gentlemen, your obedient servant,
David J. HILL,
MESSAGES OF THE PRESIDENT OF CUBA TO CONGRESS.
Mr. Squiers to Mr. Hay.
LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,
Habana, June 2, 1902. Sir: I have the honor to inclose herewith a translation of the President's message.
The message recognizes a Higher Power in the affairs of Cuba, a recognition which has called forth considerable unfavorable comment from a certain class of Cubans, as is generally the case in a new republic; acknowledges the debt of the Cuban people to the United States; advises strict economy in the administration of the Government; shows the necessity for promoting all branches of agricultural industry; states the necessity for reduction in our tariff in favor of Cuba; promises to open negotiations looking toward a reciprocity treaty; calls attention to the necessity for good municipal government; pays a very high tribute to the American provisional government on account of general improvement in sanitary conditions and recommends that the work be continued; calls attention to the present state of penal institutions, where the prisoners lead lives of idleness; shows necessity for an honest judiciary, and takes up at some detail the matter of education; advises bringing in foreign capital for the exploitation of railways; regrets that the financial condition of the country is not now favorable to a military pension list; advocates cultivating most cordial relations with all nations and particularly with the United States, and urges that a good understanding must exist between the legislative body and executive power.
To us the message is not of great interest outside of the reference to sanitary conditions, a pension list, and Cuba's relations with the United States. Regarding the matter of sanitation, the matter seems to be passed over very lightly and not given that importance which the necessity certainly demands. His resolution regarding the pension list ought to be very gratifying as it indicates economy in administration, which, under present or even more favorable conditions, is the only hope for a good and lasting government.
While I have not had sufficient time to form an opinion as to the general situation, I have been impressed with the confidence which Cubans of all classes seem to have in Mr. Palma's honesty of purpose and his desire to do what is best for the country as a whole, regardless of special interests or particular political parties. I have, etc.,
H. G. SQUIERS.
[Inclosure.-Translation.] Message of Tomás Estrada Palma, President of the Republic of Cuba, to the Congress of
Let our first acknowledgments be to Almighty God, as an act of thanksgiving for the work which with His help we have accomplished, and beseech His divine protection, in order that the people of Cuba, which now takes rank as an independent and sovereign nation, may firmly establish a stable government and proceed always along the pathways of justice, resolutely pledged to the maintenance, with right and lofty criterions and noble intent, of the democratic institutions which serve as bases for the Republic of Cuba.
Never have a people struggled with more perseverance nor been subjected to greater sacrifices in their unbending purpose of acquiring the blessed benefits of regenerative liberty, nor, consequently, have any people more greatly merited seeing their efforts crowned by the realization of their noble ideals and worthy aspirations.
Cuba on this memorable date takes her place in the family of nations and coinmences the pursuit of her rightful destiny, in conformity with the precepts of the fundamental law decreed and affirmed by the legitimate representatives of the people united in a constitutional assembly to that end.
It is unlikely that such an event will be seen again in the course of many centuries, and it is even more unlikely that it be carried into effect under like circumstances to those which have accompanied the birth of our Republic. These circumstances, in fact, have been so special as to make it impossible not to acknowledge and remember them.
Joined to the traditional heroism of three generations of patriots is the splendid attitude of a great people, who, consulting only their love of liberty, put themselves resolutely at our side in the tenacious struggle which we sustained for the independence of our country. The motive was simply a generous sentiment, pure and disinterested in its origin. At the impulse of this sentiment the powerful Republic of the North recognized the independence of Cuba, through their illustrious President, William McKinley, fought for her, and took upon herself the obligation to deliver the island and its government in due course. This formal promise has now been faithfully fulfilled by the no less illustrious President, Theodore Roosevelt. At this moment, in which we feel ourselves to be men of our own right, and people free and independent, it is impossible to repress the gratitude which overflows from our bosoms, and which we owe to the people and to the Government of the United States, as intense as our love for Cuba, as lasting as must be the good received.
To acknowledge, in this historic moment, the debt so contracted, to proclaim our gratitude to the great Republic which has aided us, and to inaugurate the Cuban nationality, is an act which exalts our people, and which makes them worthy of the consideration and respect of the other peoples of the earth.
Our country, having been organized in the form of a free Republic, in accordance with the fundamental law already promulgated, makes it necessary that the statutory laws, which are the complements of the constitution, be enacted, and that there be made all those acts which have as purpose the strengthening of the bases of an orderly Republic, capable of filling, in itself, all the ends of civilization, and of duly complying with the obligations and engagements entered into.
The existence of a people, as of individuals, depends absolutely upon the means of livelihood which they possess, and, consequently, our first duty is to assure to the state a sufficient sure income to cover, within a regimen of prudent economy, the inevitable expenses of the distinct departments of the public administration. With this in view, and guided by discreet foresight, the budgets must be made up in order that, counting upon definite receipts, the total amount of the disbursements may be less than that of the income, since it would be expedient to arrange for a reasonable surplus set apart for emergencies or for public services of undoubted utility.
The budget is, in a way, the motive power of the wheels of state, for which must be set a regular, harmonious, and uninterrupted movement, as, if in any case it be insufficient to procure this end, there would be a disarrangement of the gear of the governmental machinery, bringing with it discredit to the Republic, both at home and abroad, and accompanied, perchance, by grave danger touching the future of the Republic.
The Government proposes to present to Congress a general budget of expenses to serve as an index to the economic life of the Republic, but this labor, difficult in itself even in normal and well-regulated conditions, becomes more difficult at this time in which the transition from one system of government to another exacts the almost complete transformation of the administrative organisms, and carries with it the alteration or obligation of certain services, and the creation of new ones, fitting the order of things which has been effective since the 20th day of this month.
The practice of the American military administration of providing only for the expenses which the public services demanded, by setting apart funds for periods of two months, instead of formulating annual budgets, obliges me to call to the attention of Congress the necessity of adopting means to avoid the embarrassing situation which may shortly be experienced. Appropriations have been made only for the expenses of the public administration up to the 30th day of June next. Ås within that time the budgets can not be approved, it will be impossible for the Government to make provision for the expenses of the nation, as it lacks the power to dispose of the funds of state. The consequences of this condition of affairs are so manifest that the Congress can not fail to appreciate them, and, anticipating this contingency, will surely adopt such measures as their patriotism suggests.
The development of our national and industrial wealth is intimately connected with the budget. In direct proportion to the productive capacity of the country, the exportation of Cuban products will be augmented, and in the same ratio our purchasing power abroad will also increase. It therefore follows that the expediency of promoting, by all direct or indirect means at the command of the Government, the improvement of those branches of agricultural industry which we now possess, the creation of other branches of industry which may readily be established on our soil, and the building up of the cattle industry, which must be restored at the earliest possible moment to the degree of prosperity formerly enjoyed by it. The importance of the agricultural problems can not fail to be seen by anyone in a country where the principal wealth is derived from the soil, nor is it possible to overlook the many benefits that will be obtained by the establishment of agronomic stations for the purpose of improving and perfecting the culture of sugar cane and tobacco, as well as the introduction of the culture of other plants useful as the bases for new industries.
While still ignorant of the resources at our disposal and of the result of the efforts now for some time directed to the reduction of the import tariffs into the United States, it is almost impossible to determine the measures for facing the crisis through which are now passing the two primordial fountains of the national wealth, agriculture and industry., On the other hand, the Government can give assurance that it is well advised of the present situation, and that it will devote to it all proper attention, recommending opportunely to the Congress the steps which, in its judgment, should be taken for meeting it.
A prime factor contributing to the profound economical crisis now oppressing the country is the ruinous price of sugar due to the excessive production of beet sugar in Europe. The immediate remedy would be to obtain a satisfactory reduction in the American tariffs, an object to which the endeavors of the Executive will henceforth be dedicated, and who, at the same time, will open negotiations for the conclusion of a reciprocity treaty in the hope of securing advantages for the Cuban producer
The continuance of social life imposes as a prime necessity the regular and orderly progress of the public service, without interruptions which, if at all times injurious, would be even more prejudicial at a time when it is of supreme importance to maintain the efficacious action of all the springs of administration and government. In this regard there will be only such changes made in the personnel of the administration as shall be deemed necessary.
The municipal arrangements must receive early attention. In these lie the root by whose means must be nourished the highest organism of the Government. It is idle to speak of their importance. Inasmuch as the mayors and councillors are to-day performing their functions by virtue of an election effected by direct suffrage, they fit perfectly, with respect to this particular, in the mold of the constitution; but in so far as refers to the organization of the town councils and the attributes of these and of the mayors, this is not true. It is therefore urgent for the legislative body to formulate the municipal law, within the meaning of the constitution, as soon as possible.