President Truman to the President of the Commonwealth of the Philippines (Roxas)

My Dear Mr. President: This is in reply to your letter of June 6 to the High Commissioner51 with reference to the proposed suspension of the two-cents-per-pound additional processing tax on coconut oil of other than Philippine origin. You state that you are concerned that the suspension of this additional tax on non-Philippine coconut oil may interfere with the marketing of Philippine copra and coconut oil in the United States during the next 12 months, and further, that it might open the way to a complete elimination later of the preferential treatment Philippine copra and coconut oil now receive in the United States. I recognize the importance of these questions to the Philippines and have given careful consideration to the points you raise in connection with them.

The sole purpose of suspending the additional tax at this time is to assist us in meeting an emergency situation arising out of our fats and oils shortage and our inability during the war to obtain our requirements of coconut oil from the Philippines. We are willing to buy the entire exportable surplus of Philippine copra and coconut oil for the next 12 months. Negotiations toward this end are now in progress in Manila. We are also willing to review periodically, or upon the request of the Philippine Government, the availability of copra and coconut oil for processing in the United States and to issue a proclamation terminating the suspension as soon as coconut oil supplies are sufficient to meet our requirements. Unfortunately, the fact is that at the present time the available supply of Philippine copra and coconut oil is entirely inadequate to meet our needs.

In view of these considerations I sincerely believe the suspension of Section 2470(a) (2) of the Internal Revenue Code will not in any way adversely affect the best interests of the Philippines. Accordingly, I am issuing a proclamation in accordance with Section 505 of [Page 893] the Philippine Trade Act of 1946 finding that adequate supplies of Philippine copra and coconut oil are not readily available for processing in the United States. If at any time you find that the suspension is working any hardship on the Philippine producer or on the Philippine Government, please let us know so that appropriate steps may be taken to remedy the situation.

Very sincerely yours,

Harry S. Truman
  1. Not printed.