The Economic Adviser (Feis) to the Chief of the Bureau of Insular Affairs, War Department (Cox)


My Dear General Cox: I am enclosing a complete draft of the radiogram to be sent to the High Commissioner to the Philippine [Page 526] Islands regarding the calling of the sugar conference in London, which you read and approved yesterday.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Sincerely yours,

Herbert Feis

Draft of Telegram to the High Commissioner in the Philippine Islands (Murphy)11

On January 2, 1936, the British Foreign Office addressed to the American Embassy in London a letter12 inquiring whether the United States would be likely to accept an invitation to participate in an international conference on sugar on the basis outlined in the letter from the Foreign Office. This Government delayed serious consideration of this question because of the uncertainty regarding the sugar program of this Government created by the Supreme Court’s decision in the Hoosac Mills case. A reply is now being sent, however, stating that it is probable that the Government of the United States would welcome an invitation to attend an international sugar conference along the broad lines suggested. This reply also calls attention to the fact that the Government of the United States does not now exercise any control over the production of sugar in the Philippines and the opinion is expressed that the Government of the Commonwealth of the Philippines should have a representative of its own upon a United States delegation attending an international conference on sugar.

The following is the text of the informal note of January 2, from the British Foreign Office:

[Here follows the text of the British note of January 2.]

The British Foreign Office is being informed by this Government that this matter is being brought to the attention of the Philippine Government and that the Foreign Office will be informed as soon as possible by this Government regarding the position of the Philippine Government. It will be appreciated, therefore, if you will bring this matter to the attention of the Philippine Government and will then inform this Government regarding the position which the Philippine Government will take.

The British Foreign Office has expressed the opinion that delegations should be kept as small as possible and should be purely official. It is probable that the Government of the United States would concur [Page 527] in this opinion and that an American delegation would be composed of official representatives and not of representatives of the sugar industry.

This Government will be glad to have the opinion of the Philippine Government as soon as possible, including any comments upon the communication from the British Foreign Office or upon the problems which might come before an international sugar conference. Should definite plans be made for an international conference, probably it would be desirable for the representative of the Philippine Government to be included in the American delegation to meet with other members of that delegation for a discussion of their common problems in advance of the conference.

It is understood unofficially that no definite date for the proposed conference is now under consideration. It was reported at first that the conference had been planned for this spring but it is believed that for various reasons that plan has been dropped. As soon as there is any indication of more definite plans with respect to the conference, you will be informed so that the information may be transmitted to the Philippine Government.

  1. Transmitted as No. 281, April 22, to the High Commissioner by the Chief of the Bureau of Insular Affairs.
  2. See telegram No. 4, January 3, 4 p.m., from the Ambassador in the United Kingdom, p. 521.