281. Memorandum From the Director of the Office of Regional American Affairs (Cale) to the Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs (Holland)1


  • Mr. Morton’s Memorandum of August 24 Regarding Sugar Legislation

Mr. Morton’s suggestion that State take the initiative in getting the Senate Finance Committee to report out a sugar bill that embodies the Administration recommendation for sharing increases in consumption above 8,350,000 tons instead of 8,300,000 seems to me [Page 828] to be sound.2 Distribution is running well ahead of last year and should approximate 8.4 million short tons for the Calendar year 1955. This should strengthen our argument for sharing above the 8,350,000 ton level, if the facts can be brought to the attention of all members of the Committee in advance of the Senate hearings. We may wish to ask Agriculture’s assistance in this project, since they are also committed to the Administration’s proposal, and they may have better contacts than we with some Committee members.

As regards the House, the situation may not be as hopeless as Mr. Morton’s memorandum would indicate. If we can get the Senate Finance Committee and the Senate to approve a bill providing for a 55–45 split above the 8,350,000 ton level, and if House Conferees refuse to accept such a bill, and the Senate Conferees refuse to give ground, I understand that the House Conferees would be obliged to seek further instructions. A spokesman for the refiners recently expressed the view that if there is time for the Cubans to marshall their forces in the House (which he thinks they did not have an opportunity to do after the Cooley Bill was reported by the House Agriculture Committee this Spring), there is a good chance that the Conferees might be instructed by the House to recede from their present position.

With reference to the proposal to purchase 100,000 tons of domestic surplus sugar,3 it is understood that the White House expects to reach a decision on this matter early in October. Pressure for the purchase has been diminishing in the beet areas since production of sugar beets is expected to be off 12 to 13% this year. The purchase is still a matter of great concern in the domestic cane areas. In view of the fact that the Senate specifically recommended the purchase of surplus sugar, by resolution, and in view of the continued interest in this purchase in the cane areas, there would probably be some political advantage in having the purchase made before the sugar issue again comes before the Congress. It might afford the Administration useful leverage in obtaining industry support on issues relating to division of the foreign share in future increases in consumption between Cuba and the full duty countries.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 811.318/9–3055. Limited Official Use. Drafted by Mulliken and Callanan.
  2. In his August 24 memorandum to Holland, Morton suggested that Department of State and White House officials work with each member of the Finance Committee to persuade them of the validity of the administration’s proposals. (Ibid., 811.318/8–2355)
  3. Before Congress adjourned, the Senate adopted a resolution (S. Res. 147) sponsored by Long, Ellender, Spessard L. Holland, Smathers, and Senator Henry C. Dworshak (R.–Ida.) requesting the Commodity Credit Corporation “so far as practicable” to purchase 100,000 tons of domestic sugar in 1955 for distribution outside the continental limits of the United States.