369. Memorandum of Conversation0


  • Cuban Shipping


  • United States
    • The President
    • William R. Tyler, Assistant Secretary European Affairs
    • Thomas M. Judd, EUR/BNA
  • [Great Britain]
    • Lord Home, Foreign Secretary
    • Sir David Ormsby Gore, Ambassador to the U.S.
    • Oliver Wright, Foreign Office

The President showed Lord Home and the British Ambassador the latest figures on free world shipping in the Cuban trade.1 British ships [Page 873] were in the lead followed by Greek ships. The number of Greek ships could be expected to decline drastically as a result of the Greek Decree recently issued. The President said the situation was embarrassing to us. He was constantly being asked why he didn’t speak to our Allies, and why they did not cooperate with us. He asked Lord Home if the British Government could not do something about the situation.

Lord Home said that HMG would see what could be done. The trouble was that legislation would be needed. Also, a number of the ships were registered in Hong Kong and it was almost impossible to do anything with them. As a result of U.S. measures, the charter rates on ships on the Cuban trade had gone up, making the trade more attractive.

The President said that there must be some way that the British could get at this problem and Lord Home again said that he would see what could be done.

In passing, Lord Home mentioned that the UK wasnegotiating with Cuba for the sale of some buses.

  1. Source: Department of State, Presidential Memoranda of Conversation: Lot 66 D 149. Confidential. This memorandum, drafted by Judd and approved in the White House on October 15, was part 5 of 6 separate memoranda of conversation. The meeting was held at the White House. The full conversation lasted until 11:25 a.m. (Kennedy Library, President’s Appointment Book)
  2. Apparently a list attached to Document 370.