The Ambassador in Cuba ( Messersmith ) to the Secretary of State

No. 2888

Sir: Referring to despatch no. 2885 of November 561 and previous correspondence regarding the sugar crop-sale proposal, I have the honor to transmit copy and translation of the Cuban decree in the premises,61 issued by the Government yesterday. The Department will observe that it is carefully drawn and states merely that a [Page 240] Commission shall proceed to Washington “to study the conditions and situation of the American market. …”62 The text was written by Dr. Mañas.

Dr. Ramiro Guerra has been appointed Adviser to the Commission, with Sr. Manuel Perdomo as assistant. The latter is in the employ of the Institute as statistician and has been a member of the Cuban Delegation at various sugar conferences in the past.

Dr. Cortina, Minister of State, has been informed of the postponement of the first meeting from Monday next to Wednesday, November 12. The Commission now expects to leave Habana by airplane on the morning of November 8 and to reach Washington on November 10.

Although it is now generally believed in sugar circles in Habana that the purpose of the Commission’s trip is to discuss possible purchase of the 1942 crop, publicity in the Spanish language press in Habana continues to show considerable restraint. (I enclose the pertinent clipping from this morning’s Diario de la Marina, which likewise contains the Spanish text of the decree.) The Havana Post has, however, made a sensational play of the appointment of the Commission, which it reports under the caption “Sugar Crop Sale Negotiations Set—Cuban Group to Discuss Terms in Washington”. I enclose the clipping.

Respectfully yours,

George S. Messersmith
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  2. Not printed.
  3. Omission indicated in the original.