268. Memorandum of a Conversation, Department of State, Washington, May 2, 19551

SUBJECT

  • Sugar Legislation

PARTICIPANTS

  • U—Mr. Hoover
  • ARA—Mr. Holland
  • E—Mr. Waugh
  • IRD—Mr. Callanan

The purpose of the meeting was to bring Mr. Hoover up to date on sugar legislation. Mr. Waugh and Mr. Holland told Mr. Hoover of recent conversations with Dr. Hauge, who met recently with Senator Williams 2 and Mr. Shields.3 Mr. Holland told Mr. Hoover that Dr. Hauge’s belief now was that nothing should be done to hurt Cuba this year. On the other hand Dr. Hauge believed that some means had to be found to relieve the pressure in our domestic areas this year.

In reply to a series of questions, Mr. Hoover was informed that the domestic industry’s legislative proposal would be retroactive to January 1, 1955 whereas State’s compromise figure of 8.4 would in effect amend the Act as of January 1, 1956. It was pointed out to Mr. Hoover that the Cubans have to make their marketing plans in December, and at that time they set their production goal. The mills begin grinding in January and all but a few have finished by May. A change in our legislation now would upset all their calculations as to how much sugar they could market in the United States this year and result in a corresponding increase in their surplus stocks. Mr. Hoover agreed that retroactive legislation would be a very bad thing and would severely damage our relations with Cuba.

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It was agreed that State’s position now is no change in the Act effective before January 1, 1956, which in quantitative terms means sharing increases in consumption over 8.4 million tons. It was also agreed that we would immediately explore the possibilities of declaring sugar surplus for the purposes of Public Law 6654 and Public Law 4805 in order to relieve some of the domestic pressures.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 811.235/5–255. Official Use Only. Drafted by Callanan.
  2. John J. Williams (R.–Del.).
  3. Robert H. Shields, president and general counsel of the U.S. Beet Sugar Association.
  4. Reference is to the Mutual Defense Assistance Act of 1954, enacted August 26, 1954; for text, see 68 Stat. 832.
  5. Reference is to the Agricultural Trade Development and Assistance Act of 1954 enacted July 10, 1954; for text, see 68 Stat. 454.