837.61351/6–545: Telegram

The Chargé in Cuba (Wright)79 to the Secretary of State

383. ReDeptel 351, June 4, 5 p.m.80 Casanova and Mañas called this morning at their request “to discuss procedural matters” and were rec’d by me with Nufer, Minneman, and Norregaard present.

We agreed that for tactical reasons when Wilson and Rowe arrived here we not let it be known that they plan to negotiate for the 1946 crop but rather inform inquirers that they have come to study on the ground the Cuban sugar situation in order that they may be better in a position to evaluate the world picture. The Cuban group will upon inquiry make similar statements and if after a few days of discussions it seems likely that the negotiations will be successful each Government will then announce that following technical discussions the identical groups have been appointed by their respective Govts to negotiate for the crop. The Cuban group will at least in the beginning not call themselves delegates but rather advisers to the Cuban Govt. In this way we can proceed with much more freedom of action and better avoid permanent harm if the negotiations break down which is of course a distinct possibility. The Cubans feel that they have us in a position favorable to themselves and will unmistakably trade hard. They maintain that they do not know what sugar they will have to sell next year owing to the fact that rains have been so much delayed and crop conditions are so uncertain. It would be most unfortunate to have now a formal negotiation which would be [Page 934] branded as a failure and then have to negotiate again later on. If we can keep it on a study basis until we see where we are we will be much better off.

  1. James H. Wright assumed charge on May 19, succeeding John J. Muccio.
  2. Not printed; in this telegram the Department indicated that the U.S. group selected for the forthcoming sugar discussions consisted of Messrs. Wright, Nufer, Agricultural Attaché at Habana Paul Minneman, Norregaard, Wilson, and Harold Rowe of the Foreign Economic Administration (837.61351/6–145).

    The Cuban group consisted of Messrs. Casanova, Mañas, Seiglie, Aréchaga, and Germán Alvarez Fuentes, Cuban Minister of Agriculture.