The Secretary of State to the Cuban Ambassador (Belt)20
Excellency: With reference to the discussions which have been carried on at Habana and Washington in respect of the purchase of Cuban sugar during 1946, the Cuban group has requested the views of this Government concerning the future position of Cuban sugar in the United States market.
Of course, the final authority governing imports into the United States is vested by the Consitution in the Legislative Branch of this Government. The Congress has imposed quantitative limitations on the imports of sugar by the Sugar Act of 1937, and new legislation will be under consideration by the Congress late this year. The Executive is bound by this legislation and must administer it according to its terms.
As Your Excellency is aware, the United States pursues a policy of liberal trade practices. The base of this policy is constantly being broadened through the reciprocal trade-agreements program and in other ways. Several international conferences have been held with [Page 773] United States participation looking to sound trade relations and others are in immediate prospect.
It has been the constant purpose of my Government to provide for Cuba a fair and equitable market for its sugar. This desire springs, among other reasons, from the historical position of Cuban sugar in the United States and the problems growing out of expanded war production by Cuba for United Nations uses. It is the present policy of the Executive Branch of this Government to take such steps as may appear to it to be necessary or desirable to support the Cuban sugar position in the United States market, and best efforts will be used to give effect in practice to the policy under peacetime conditions.
- Handed to Ambassador Belt by the Director of the Office of American Republic Affairs (Briggs) on January 4; this note had been prepared at the specific request of, and in the language suggested by the Department of Agriculture.↩