United States Department of State / Papers relating to the foreign relations of the United States with the annual message of the president transmitted to Congress December 3, 1912
Cuba, pp. 236-322 PDF (33.3 MB)
310 FOREIGN RELATIONS. Not printed. provisions of law 1 relating to insalubrious lands under which the concession is made clearly contemplate low lands and swamps in in habited regions where they are a menace to public health, while this vast swamp has barely a handful of inhabitants who are engaged in exploiting its natural resources and it has never been regarded as a menace to the health of the distant settlen'ients any more than are the rice fields and salt marshes of our own South Atlantic and Gulf States. The concluding article of the decree of concession provides that— Within thirty days from the date of publication in the Gaceta Oficiai, the concessionaire shall notify the Department of Public ' Works of the conces sionaire's conformitS with the provisions of this decree; whereupon that De partnient shall proceed to execute the appropriate instrument or act of con cession. * * * Until the execution of tile instrument prescribed in the quoted pro vision, the concession does not become effective; and therefore there is still sufficient time in which to procure tile suspension or revocation of the concession. Public opinion here is negligible, and only those people who have something at stake (who may be. bought off in the meantime) will pay any attention to the matter after the first ex citement subsides and the newspapers, appropriately "silenced", cease their attacks. It is not likely that anything will come of the Congressional investigation, even if the motion calling for it is carried. Therefore the only apparent way to stop this * * * is for us to enter without delay an emphatic protest that will leave no doubt as to our disauthorization of the measure; unofficial rep resentations of a lukewarm charact.er demanding no specific action might be disregarded. * * * Various promoters have, I under stand, for many years sought this concession, former petitions hav ing been summarily dismissed by the Wood, Palma and Magoon administrations, and now that the present pron'ioters have it almost in their grasp a determined stand is necessary in order to dislodgq them. Our objections might appropriately be predicated upon the gen eral principle of our interest in the finances of Cuba as affected by the alienation of natural resources for inadequate consideratiofi. and upon Article V of the Platt Amendment regarding sanitary plans. If in the exercise of our rights under Art. V we insisted upon a thorough and comprehensive reclamation of the land with rigid stipulations as to the amount of work to be done each year— reducing the exploitation of natural resources to an incidental op portunity, rather than as it now is, the main object of the conces sion—the project would, I am convinced, inevitably fall through. Our objections, if any, should be embodied in a note to President Gómez, and in order to be timely should be presented as soon as possible. I therefore respectfully recommend that I be instructed by telegraph. I have [etc.] A. M. BEAUPR1i.
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