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

No. 101

Sir: Since it is evident that a favorable revision of the reciprocity treaty will be a stimulant to economic recovery, both here and in Cuba, I am desirous that the negotiations be concluded at as early a date as possible. Considerable delay has resulted, however, from the procedure set forth in the general instructions whereby the Embassy is required to submit to the Department “all proposals, including counterproposals, regarding the concessions desired by the United States”. In order to expedite the revision of the treaty, therefore, you may carry on your negotiations with the Cubans on the basis of the schedules as submitted to and revised by the Department, without referring the counter-proposals made in the course of negotiations to the Department for approval, except cases involving controversial concessions (such as hog lard), increases in general rates, new or reclassifications, and matters of policy of interest to this and other Departments.

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The Department has drafted its instructions regarding the proposed schedules with the idea of giving you in the case of each tariff item the United States rate of duty and the preference which it hopes will be arrived at. While you should endeavor to secure the agreement of the Cuban authorities to the proposals as approved by the Department, I realize, of course, that it will not be possible to secure in all cases the exact rates and preferences desired, and therefore authorize you, in your discretion, to propose and accept minor variations. Please continue, however, to keep the Department currently and fully informed of the progress of your negotiations.

I assume that the Cuban authorities have been impressed with the fact that whatever agreements you may reach with them are subject to the review and approval of the Department.

Very truly yours,

For the Secretary of State:
Sumner Welles

Assistant Secretary