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

No. 698

Sir: Reference is made to the Department’s telegram No. 237 of May 7, 1942 authorizing you to inform the Cuban Government that estimated needs for Cuban sugar in 1943 by the United States and the United Nations would not exceed 3,600,000 short tons, including invert molasses and excluding local consumption, to the Department’s instruction No. 504 of August 18, 194220 relating to alternate work programs in Cuba, and to other exchanges concerning next year’s sugar problem.

It is believed on the basis of considerations set forth below that the maximum amount of sugar which Cuba would be warranted in producing for export purposes next year would be 2,600,000 short tons. You are, therefore, requested to deliver a memorandum to the Cuban Government along the lines indicated in the enclosure.20

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For your own information only, you are advised that the Food Requirements Committee has determined that “our requirements for sugar from the offshore areas should be established at the quantities permitted by the use of such shipping facilities as are available after providing for our shipping needs for more critical commodities”. On this basis, our shipping authorities estimate at the present time that from 2,000,000 to 2,240,000 short tons of sugar may be lifted in Cuba next year for the United States, including re-exports to other United Nations. It may be observed that the lower figure of 2,000,000 exceeds by about 800,000 short tons the quantity which could be moved on the basis of the shipping schedule for the remainder of this year and envisages, therefore, additional shipping facilities for sugar in 1943. Direct exports to countries other than the United States might range from none at all to possibly 448,000 short tons, the quantity which it is estimated by the British Food Mission may be taken by the United Kingdom, Canada, and other countries.

In presenting the attached memorandum to the Cuban Government, you are authorized to say orally that this Government appreciates the problems which may arise from the reduction in the crop. You may add that this Government stands ready to examine, with the appropriate Cuban authorities, measures of cooperation to maintain the amount of economic activity which may be considered necessary to take up this slack.

Very truly yours,

For the Secretary of State:
Sumner Welles
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