Memorandum by the Assistant Chief of the Division of Caribbean and Central American Affairs (Scherer)

Ambassador Braden:49

Mr. Sabin, DSC,50 telephoned on January 15 mentioning that Dr. Walter Whitman, Chemicals Division of the War Production Board, [Page 920] had expressed concern over the continuing delay in the blackstrap molasses negotiation with Cuba. Dr. Whitman is apparently apprehensive lest Cuba again start making beverage alcohol of its blackstrap molasses.

Mr. Sabin stated that the cycle has been completed since the time in November Mr. Carl Gibboney51 told the Cubans we really did not need their molasses. Now again molasses is needed urgently for the rubber program; in fact it was almost decided to call off the second liquor holiday here, now in progress.

As I understand the situation, WPB52 prefers to buy molasses but will accept quantities of alcohol. It will be reluctant to pay 65¢ per gallon.

George F. Scherer
  1. Spruille Braden was in Washington for consultation from January 18 to January 28.
  2. Samuel H. Sabin of the Defense Supplies Corporation, an agency of the United States Government within the Department of Commerce.
  3. A representative of the Foreign Economic Administration in the sugar purchase negotiations of October and November 1944.
  4. War Production Board.