The Ambassador in the United Kingdom (Bingham) to the Secretary of State

No. 2439

Sir: I have the honor to refer to my despatch No. 2426 of August 6, 1936,20 and to previous correspondence relating to the proposed International Sugar Conference. I now have the honor to forward a copy of a letter under date of August 7, 1936, which has been received from the Foreign Office in regard to this matter.

Respectfully yours,

For the Ambassador:
Herschel V. Johnson

First Secretary of Embassy

The Counselor for Economic Relations of the British Foreign Office (Ashton-Gwatkin) to the First Secretary of the American Embassy (Johnson)

No. W 7419/182/50

My Dear Johnson, I am now in a position to let you know the latest developments regarding the international sugar conference since His Excellency saw the Secretary of State21 on the 25th May.

You will recall that in my letter of the 2nd January I stated that it was considered important that a conference should not be held without the participation of any country whose adherence to the Agreement was regarded as essential by any of the other participants in the conference, and accordingly, after considering the replies received from the International Sugar Committee and from Dr. Colijn, His Majesty’s Government took steps to ascertain the views of the Governments of Japan, Russia and Santo Domingo, whose participation in the conference was held to be essential.

The Soviet and Dominican Governments expressed their willingness to participate in a conference, if called, although the Soviet Government made it clear that the character and extent of any liabilities [Page 534] to be assumed by the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics in regard to a future Sugar Convention could only be established at the conference itself and in connexion with the course of negotiations between the participants therein.

The Japanese Government, however, while emphasising that they are anxious for international co-operation in all matters and have therefore given every consideration to the proposal to participate in an international conference and ultimately in a Convention on the subject of sugar, regret that they cannot subscribe to any agreement of the kind which has been suggested or attend a conference on this subject.

The International Sugar Committee and Dr. Colijn have now been asked what action they can suggest in the light of these replies.

I shall not fail to let you know if there are any further developments.

Yours sincerely,

F. Ashton-Gwatkin
  1. Not printed.
  2. i. e., Anthony Eden, British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs.