The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Cuba (Judah)

No. 170

Sir: By instruction No. 21 of January 12, 1928,6 you were informed that as soon as the report of the United States Tariff Commission regarding the operation of the Reciprocity Treaty between the United States and Cuba, a copy of which was included for the Embassy’s files, should be communicated to the Cuban Government the Embassy at Habana would be apprised of that fact.

With a note of June 13, 1928, replying to the Cuban Ambassador’s note of December 15, 1927, a copy of which was also enclosed with the instruction of January 12, corrected copies of the Tariff Commission’s report were handed to the Cuban Ambassador in Washington.

There are forwarded herewith for the confidential information of your Embassy a copy of the note of the 13th instant to the Cuban Ambassador7 and a copy of the corrected report of the Tariff Commission.

The following paragraphs are added for the Embassy’s further strictly confidential information:

[Page 642]

When the note was handed to the Cuban Ambassador, occasion was taken to say that there appears to be little chance of a revision of the treaty, and that if the question were re-opened, it is not impossible that Congress would take action looking toward an arrangement less favorable to Cuba than the present arrangement.

As to the general effects of the treaty, it was pointed out that under the treaty the proportion of American consumption of sugar supplied by Cuba has grown from about 32% in 1901–04 to about 60% at present. During the period since the treaty was signed, Cuban sugar production has increased nearly five fold, and Cuba has been given a practical monopoly of the sugar import trade of the United States.

Regarding the disappearance of the price differential which during earlier years operated in favor of Cuban sugar, the observation was made that such a temporary advantage is of an unusual nature in the operation of reciprocity treaties; and that its disappearance was due to the rapid progress of the Cuban sugar industry so that it could supply all the import requirements of the United States.

I am [etc.]

For the Secretary of State:
Francis White
  1. Not printed.
  2. Ante, p. 640.