Editorial Note

On January 16, 1951, the General Services Administration announced in a press release that agreements had been reached with several parties for the rehabilitation and reactivation of the idle United States-owned Nicaro Nickel Plant in Oriente Province, Cuba. Under the agreements, Frederick A. Snare Corporation of New York received the construction contract, and Mining Equipment Corporation of New York, a subsidiary of N. Y. Billiton Maatschappij of The Hague, Netherlands, was selected to operate the plant upon the completion of reconstruction work. The Department of State approved of the choice of the Billiton firm, and also endorsed the idea of private Cuban participation in the ownership and management of the renovated plant, which became a subject for negotiation between Billiton and interested Cuban investors. Work on the Nicaro plant continued through 1951, and the plant began to operate early in 1952. A chronology of the principal developments regarding Nicaro, covering the period from October 1950 to March 1951, and a memorandum concerning the question of Cuban participation, are attached to a memorandum from the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs, Thomas C. Mann, to the Under Secretary of State, James E. Webb, dated April 4, 1951 (837.2537/4–451). Additional pertinent documents are in Department of State decimal files 836.06 and 837.19.