561.35E1/371: Telegram

The Chairman of the American Delegation (Davis) to the Secretary of State

44. Your No. 23, May 3, 6 p.m. Plenary session yesterday afternoon approved draft agreement as amended and fixed Thursday28 4 p.m. as hour for signing.

Canada announced that it was not at present prepared to sign29 but that it would nevertheless act in accordance with the obligation which had been drafted for it in the treaty—namely, it will not stimulate the production of sugar in Canada by way of subsidy, by special remission of taxes, by increased protection or otherwise during the term of the agreement.

In view of this the Conference Chairman announced that the principle of distribution Council votes in the ratio of exporting countries 55%, importing countries 45% was fundamental and that any vacated voting privileges must be redistributed within the group to which they belong. I proposed that the five Canadian votes be distributed equally between the United Kingdom and the United States by a provision in the protocol. The handling of the matter was left indeterminate.

France is insisting on a French text equally authentic with the English but has received no support in the Conference. British seem confident matter can be arranged by Thursday.

The amendments proposed in your No. 23, May 3, 6 p.m., were accepted with following modifications.

Your point number 3. The declaration quoted at the beginning of section 3 of your telegram was made article 2 in the agreement (articles having been renumbered consecutively), substituting “the arrangements made under the present agreement” for “these arrangements”. The agreement also has the following denunciation clause.

“If any contracting Government into whose territories there is a net import of sugar shall allege that owing to the operation of the present agreement, there is an acute shortage of supplies or an abnormal [Page 945] rise in world prices, it may apply to the Council requesting it to take measures to remedy such situation, and if the Council fails to do so the Government concerned may withdraw from the agreement”.

Paragraph 3 of the protocol was deleted making action under your paragraph 5 unnecessary. I informed Negotiating Committee of your paragraph 7.

There have been various changes in passages cited in previous telegrams but Department may be assured that the convention contains no restriction on Cuban exports to the United States or on American refiners or on substitution mentioned your point 4.

Netherlands delegation suggested that a limit of 25,000 tons be placed on the right reserved by the United States under paragraph (c) of chapter 3, article 2 (my number 25, April 29, 3 p.m.30). I offered to discuss the matter with the interested countries outside the Conference and the suggestion was not pressed. In an evening meeting with Peruvian, Dominican and Haitian delegations they were advised that either they should agree upon a limitation or we would indicate a limitation in case our imports of full duty sugar should be increased substantially. They advised us that in view of the difficulty that they would have in explaining their action to their Government, they prefer that we make the limitation.

  1. May 6.
  2. No further action by Canada to effect signature of the International Sugar Agreement appears to have been taken.
  3. Not printed.