The Chargé in Cuba (Woodward) to the Secretary of State

No. 1802

Sir: Supplementing the Embassy’s airmail despatch No. 1790 of June 25, 1946 (File No. 861.35)45 and previous correspondence regarding the negotiations for the purchase of the 1946 and 1947 Cuban sugar crops, I have the honor to enclose a copy and translation of the Cuban Government’s note No. C–679 of June 26, 1946,45 which has just been received and which in effect rejects the counter offer which our negotiators submitted to the Cubans on May 30, 1946.

[Page 789]

In its note the Cuban Government again expresses concern over the action of the Senate Finance Committee in approving a three-year extension of the 1937 Sugar Act, although admitting that it would accept, albeit reluctantly, an extension of only one year should such a measure be found necessary for “political reasons”. The Cuban offer to sell the 1947 Cuban sugar crop was, the note states, based on two basic principles: (1) that in arriving at the final price to be paid for the 1947 crop the size of the crop and Cuba’s “future possibilities in the market of the continental United States be taken into account” and that Cuba be given full protection against any undue increases in the price of foodstuffs and other products of prime necessity which Cuba must import from the United States, and (2) that the sale of the crop be subject to the condition that no sugar legislation be adopted in the United States contrary to Cuba’s best interests or that fails to take into consideration Cuba’s historical position as a supplier of sugar to the United States market and its contribution to the war effort.

Our rejection of those two basic principles, the note adds, has caused the hacendados, colonos and sugar workers to reject our counterproposal and the Government has no moral or legal grounds for forcing its acceptance now that the war emergency, during which Cuba so unstintedly cooperated with our Government, is over. The Cuban Government therefore arrives at the conclusion that our acceptance of the two basic principles under reference is indispensable if the negotiations for the 1947 sugar crop are to be brought to a successful conclusion.

The note concludes with the usual assurances of the Cuban Government’s desire to continue to cooperate with us in supplying us with much needed sugar and with an expression of the hope that the negotiations may soon be resumed and that the two parties through cooperation and the exercise of good will may reach a meeting of the minds.

Respectfully yours,

For the Chargé d’Affaires a.i.:
Albert F. Nufer

Counselor of Embassy for Economic Affairs
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