252. Memorandum From the Assistant Secretary of State for Economic Affairs (Waugh) to the Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs (Holland)1


  • Sugar Act

Mr. Hoover, after a couple of telephone conversations with Governor Adams at the White House, made the following decisions: [Page 780]

The meeting scheduled with the President and Senators representing sugar states should go off as scheduled.
Secretary Benson would be present at the meeting—he could not do otherwise.
Governor Adams will call Secretary Benson and tell him this is a matter which obviously has not been coordinated with State. Mr. Hoover told Governor Adams that this has not been coordinated with State up to now, and there has been no discussion by Agriculture with State as to what the policy should be. This last statement is correct.

Governor Adams will further say to Secretary Benson that there are many factors involved, and we should have complete agreement between State and Agriculture before any action or commitments are made with regard to taking this legislation up this year. By taking up this legislation it is implicitly implied that there would be changes in the quotas, which we all agree is a very serious matter involving agreements previously made in good faith.

Therefore, at the meeting tomorrow no commitments should be made by either the President or Secretary Benson to the effect that they would take the legislation up this year. Both should be noncommittal and should say this is a matter that must be coordinated with a number of Departments before commitments can be made.

Mr. Hoover suggested that I should write a memorandum of our conversation and get it to you as soon as possible.

Mr. Hoover also approved the suggestion received earlier from Dr. Hauge that Secretary Dulles should sign a brief memorandum to the President asking that no commitments be made until a further coordinated study had taken place.2 A copy of this memorandum, my memorandum to the Secretary,3 and a copy of Mr. Benson’s letter to the President of January 21,4 are attached for your files.

  1. Source: Department of State, Sugar Files: Lot 65 D 212, Revision of Sugar Act, 1955, Mem. Con. II. Official Use Only.
  2. Quoted in full in footnote 4, supra .
  3. In a January 26 memorandum to Dulles, Waugh wrote that Adams had agreed to mention to Benson Dulles’ concern outlined in his memorandum to the President. Waugh’s memorandum is in Department of State, Sugar Files: Lot 65 D 212, Revision of Sugar Act, 1955, Mem. Con. II.
  4. In this letter Benson wrote that for a number of reasons it was desirable to amend the Sugar Act of 1948 at the present session of Congress rather than to wait until 1956 when Congress might wish to adjourn early. He wrote in part:

    “As you know, the sugar program has worked well and it is strongly supported by the domestic industry. However, it is technical and its revision requires the balancing of a number of conflicting interests, both foreign and domestic. However, the demands for increased quotas are likely to increase. This might make it more difficult to compromise differences next year than it would be now.

    “For the above reasons, I think it is essential that we start now on the development of the new legislation.” A copy of this letter is ibid.