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

No. 1024

Sir: I have the honor to refer to my despatch No. 707 of August 13, 1942,47 relative to certain suggestions made to the Cuban Government, at the instance of the Department, for more economic utilization and handling of vessels engaged in Cuban-American commerce, and to report that I took up this problem during a conversation with President Batista on September 11.

While I believe that the President is well disposed in principle, there is considerable reluctance to take action in matters which may involve opposition of Labor elements, such as increasing the per sling load of sugar bags or abandoning the newly established system of rotation for port workers in Habana. I again pointed out that not only was more efficient and expeditious handling of vessels necessary for our mutual war effort, but I said that a continuance of existing conditions would discourage authorities elsewhere from sending ships to Cuba when a quick turn around was required, thus labor was prejudicing itself.

I shall continue to press for favorable action on these proposals, but I anticipate that the Government may be somewhat reluctant to adopt our suggestions because of its unwillingness thus far squarely to meet the Labor issue.

Respectfully yours,

Spruille Braden
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