837.51 Cooperation Program/96

Memorandum of Telephone Conversation, by Mr. Emilio G. Collado, Special Assistant to the Under Secretary of State (Welles)

Ambassador Messersmith called from Habana to inquire what progress was being made in furnishing technicians to make the preliminary arrangements for carrying out the $25,000,000 credit program. I replied that Mr. Warren Pierson79a had just returned from Brazil, that he was prepared to send a lawyer to Cuba in the very near future to work on the contract, that he advised that the Cuban Government prepare a draft of a very simple law and submit it to this Government for its comments, and that he would like to bring his lawyer to Habana on the occasion of his own visit for the signing of the sugar financing arrangement. In addition, Mr. Pierson and Mr. Wheeler of the Department of Agriculture were completing arrangements to send one or two agricultural experts with the Agriculture Department’s report. (I informed the Ambassador that this report was being mimeographed and that copies would be made available to him within a very few days.) With respect to a public works expert, I informed the Ambassador that Mr. West, the engineer of the Bank, would return next week from Brazil and that a few days later he could go to Habana to begin the work. The Bank will find it necessary to employ additional engineers to supervise the entire project.

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The Ambassador indicated that he hoped that the Export-Import Bank would not be difficult on the remaining terms of the sugar financing agreement. I informed the Ambassador that all of the Bank’s comments were in the hands of Dr. Mañas in Habana and that I believed there was no reason why the Cubans could not complete the matter at once. The Ambassador stated that the Cubans were questioning a provision whereby the Export-Import Bank could place Cuban obligations which it acquires with other institutions. I stated that this was a usual provision in all contracts and the Ambassador replied that the Cubans admitted that the Bank had the right but did not feel that it should appear in the contract.

  1. President of the Export-Import Bank.