The Department of State to the Cuban Embassy


In reply to the memorandum of July 27 of Dr. Amadeo Lόpez Castro, concerning the dehydration project of the American Dehydrating Company of Cuba, the Department of State is pleased to have an opportunity to comment on the project and to express appreciation of the determination [Page 234] of the Government of Cuba supporting the agricultural diversification program. It is a source of real gratification to note the substantial progress already being made; for example in the production of corn, the present crop of which is one of the largest in Cuban history.

During recent years and especially during last winter’s general economic discussions, the Department of State and other interested agencies of this Government have maintained a keen interest in the continuation and intensification of Cuba’s diversification program. To that end the Department has assisted in making available certain agricultural machinery, and as Dr. Lόpez Castro is aware, contracts for production of the various agricultural items such as corn, beans, and surplus dairy products are under active consideration at present.

The project of the American Dehydrating Company of Cuba has received most careful attention and study by the American Embassy at Habana and the Department since its inception during March 1943. Every effort has been made to reach a fair and helpful determination that can be justified on the basis of production potentialities of beets and sweet potatoes, and consistent with the availability of iron and steel materials and of fuel oil and tinplate. The Department has concluded that it may reasonably recommend to the War Production Board the construction of one dehydration plant and it maintains the position that, in view of the lack of experience in the commercial production in Cuba of most of the vegetables under contract, that consideration of further construction be deferred pending the visit to Cuba of technical dehydration experts, which will take place within the next few weeks, according to advices received by the Department from the Office of Economic Warfare.62 Also of assistance in reaching a decision with respect to the advisability of additional construction will be the results achieved in the operations of the first factory, which is understood to be nearing completion.

The Department will, of course, continue its active interest in this matter.

  1. The Board of Economic Warfare became the Office of Economic Warfare on July 15, 1943.