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

No. 3373

Sir: I have the honor to report that, as anticipated in my telegram No. 36 of January 28, 11 p.m.,81 the exchange of notes in connection with the purchase of Cuba’s 1942 sugar crop was effected as of yesterday’s date. The texts are identical with those accompanying my despatch No. 3348 of January 28 with the exception of the deletion from my note in reply of the sentence, “nothing in this or any other arrangement shall be interpreted in any way to obligate the United States not to reduce the duty on sugar from other countries”, from numbered paragraph 1 on page 2 thereof.

With reference to my conversation with Mr. Hawkins on January 28 in which I explained the views of Dr. Cortina concerning the deletion of this sentence, I enclose a rather detailed memorandum for our records, setting forth all the attendant circumstances.82 In my opinion this will avoid any possible misunderstanding concerning the point of view of the Minister of State in desiring to have the sentence in question removed from the text. I am likewise of the belief that this memorandum and Dr. Cortina’s understanding of the situation, as well as that of the other Cuban officials, adequately protects our position on this duty-reduction question.

Respectfully yours,

George S. Messersmith
  1. Not printed.
  2. Memorandum not printed; Minister of State Cortina conceded that the United States had a right to reduce duties but, he contended, an agreement for the sale of the sugar crop was not the place for a provision with respect to duties.