542. Notes on the Secretary of State’s Staff Meeting, Department of State, Washington, July 5, 1960, 9:15 a.m.1

[Here follows discussion of matters unrelated to Cuba.]

Cuban Sugar

4. Mr. Mann reported that a draft presidential proclamation2 to cut the import of Cuban sugar was worked out yesterday and that an inter-departmental working committee is expected to finish its consideration of it sometime today. Cuba has 744,000 tons of sugar to be exported, and the planned proclamation would cut this back 700,000 tons. Combined with the fact that Cuba will no longer be called on to make up our domestic deficit, this would make a total cutback of almost 900,000 tons.

Mr. Macomber expressed satisfaction that the cutback figure is high, explaining that because Congress had such a difficult time in giving the President this authority, it was well that we acted promptly and vigorously. In connection with this, Mr. Macomber described the great difficulty which Congress had had with this issue.

In answer to a question from Mr. Allen, Mr. Rubottom explained that we had not discussed the cut in sugar quota with other Latin American countries as many of them have been reluctant to recognize the danger in the Castro regime. Mr. Rubottom felt we must move on relentlessly. We will get some support in Latin America, however, and the cut will not be entirely unexpected. He felt it would be a mistake to attempt to get OAS backing for this move.

Mr. Rubottom said that our cutback in the sugar quota required some basic policy decisions. The Department of Agriculture and others may wish to buy the substitute sugar at world prices rather than at U.S. import prices, whereas we prefer the latter.

Mr. Rubottom said he plans to inform our Embassy in Havana in advance of the quota cut in order to get its opinion as to whether the safety of U.S. citizens would be affected.

[Here follows discussion of matters unrelated to Cuba.]

  1. Source: Department of State, Secretary’s Staff Meetings: Lot 63 D 75, July 1960. Secret. No drafting information appears on the source text. A list of attendees is attached. Merchant presided at the meeting.
  2. Not found. Regarding the proclamation released on July 6, see footnote 3, Document 544.