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CLAIM ON BEHALF OF THE CUBA SUBMARINE

TELEGRAPH COMPANY.

THE Cuba Submarine Telegraph Company was incorporated under the laws of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland in the year 1870, for the purpose of laying and working cables between Havana, Santiago de Cuba, and other places on the Island of Cuba. It owns and operates cables between various points on the Island of Cuba which are worked in connection with other Companies establishing communication between Cuba and neighbouring territories belonging to Powers which were neutral during the war between Spain and the United States.

In May 1898, during the war between the United States and Spain, naval officers of the United States caused the Company's cables to be cut between Manzanillo and Casilda, and in the vicinity of Cienfuegos, and caused property of the Company, including testing instruments, batteries, line connections and cable houses and furniture to be destroyed at Colorados near Cienfuegos.

Before the cutting of these cables no notice whatsoever was given to the Company or to its representatives of the intention to cut such cables, and no demand was made that the cables should be sealed or their use discontinued, or that a guarantee should be given with respect to the closing of the cable. The Company was ready at all times to do any act necessary for the complete neutralization of its cables, so far as it lay within its power to do so.

After the cutting of the cables nothing was done to restore them to use until the close of the war between the United States and Spain, when between May 1898 and February 1899 the Company proceeded to repair its cables of the United States on the 6th November, 1899, the claim of the Company for reimbursement of the cost of effecting the repairs of the cables and of replacing the property destroyed, and on the 23rd January, 1900, the claim was transmitted to Congress by President McKinley, with it report thereon from the Secretary of State, and with a recommendation that as an act of equity and comity provision should be made by Congress for reimbursement to the Company of the actual expenses incurred by it in the repair of the cables and property. (Annex 2.) No objection was taken in this report, and in the subsequent recommendation, to the amount of the claim or to the detailed items of which it is composed.

A Bill for the relief of the Company was presented at the First Session of the Fifty-sixth Congress, and was referred to the Committee on War Claims of the House of Representatives. This Committee, on the 1st February, 1900, rendered a report, No. 221, in favour of an appropriation for the amount of the claim made. A copy of the report forms Annex 3. No appropriation was, however, made by Congress.

The claim was again presented to the Fifty-seventh Congress, and a favourable report from the House Committee on War Claims was again made, but no appropriation was made by Congress.

The claim was again presented to the Fifty-eighth Congress, but again no action was taken.

At the First Session of the Fifty-ninth Congress, House Bill 18849 was introduced, and, on the 13th April, 1906, President Roosevelt transmitted to the Senate and House of Representatives of the Fifty-ninth Congress, First Session, a report from the Secretary of State, and renewed

and of the accompanying documents forms Annex 4. No appropriation was, however, made by Congress.

On the 6th January, 1909, during the Second Session of the Sixtieth Congress, a Bill was introduced in the House of Representatives, known as House Bill 25,512, providing for an appropriation for the payment of the claim of the Company. This Bill was referred to the Committee on Claims. On the 5th February, 1909, a favourable report was made thereon by the said Committee, but the Bill was not passed. A copy of this report forms Annex 5.

By this date the negotiations for the Pecuniary Claims Arbitration were well advanced, and no further efforts to obtain relief from Congress were made as it appeared probable that payments of the claim would be obtained with greater expedition if it were presented to the Arbitration Tribunal.

The British nationality of the Company and of its cables is admitted in the said documents. As no objection has at any time been taken by the United States to the particular items of which the claim is composed, or to the total amount of the claim, His Majesty's Government do not think it necessary to lay detailed evidence in support of these items before the Tribunal.

By cutting the Company's cables, the Government of the United States practically took possession of them, and continued in control thereof until the termination of hostilities between the United States and Spain, but did not at the cessation of hostilities restore the cables to the Company in the condition in which they were at the time when possession thereof was taken by the United States Government.

His Majesty's Government therefore contend that, in view of the friendly and neutral attitude of the Company toward the Government of the United States immediately before and during the war with Spain, its

nor notice of the intention of the naval officers of the United States with respect to the cutting of the said cables, or of any desire by them that the said cables should be sealed on neutral territory, and in view of the recommendations made to Congress in favour of the payment of the claim as an act of equity and comity, an award should be made for the amount which the Company was obliged to expend for the restoration of the cables and property, with interest thereon at the rate of 4 per cent. per annum from the time when the claim was first brought to the notice of the United States Government.

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