The Secretary of State to President Roosevelt14

My Dear Mr. President: In my letter to you of September 24, 1941,15 having reference to the proposed supplementary trade agreement with Cuba, it was stated that the trade-agreements organization had recommended a reduction in the rate of duty on sugar from $.90 to $.75 per 100 pounds, the lower duty to remain in effect whether or not sugar legislation is continued after the end of this year. Also recommended was a proposal that under certain circumstances the Executive could limit the amount of Cuban sugar imported at a reduced rate of duty and fix a rate between $.75 and $1.50 on imports above a specified amount.

Certain recent developments make it appear desirable to modify the previous recommendations. In view of this Government’s plans to purchase the entire Cuban sugar crop for the coming year, and possibly that for the year following, there would be no need for emergency control of sugar imports from Cuba by executive action, as contemplated in the recommendations above referred to. Also, the Cuban Government has been concerned that an unrestricted right on the part of this Government to curtail imports does not, in appearance at least, adequately safeguard Cuban interests.

In view of the foregoing considerations, therefore, it is now recommended that the provision for the control of sugar imports by executive action during the emergency be dropped and that in order to afford some measure of protection for Cuban interests, the agreement should, in addition to specifying a reduced rate of duty, simply [Page 209] provide that no measure shall be made effective in connection with the reenactment of sugar legislation or otherwise, which would adversely affect the position of the Republic of Cuba as a supplier of sugar for the United States market as compared with its position under the provisions of the Sugar Act of 1937.

I should appreciate being informed whether this recommendation meets with your approval.

Faithfully yours,

Cordell Hull
  1. The original bears the following notation: “CH OK FDR”.
  2. Not printed.