352. Memorandum of Conversation0

SUBJECT

  • Sugar Quota for the Philippines

PARTICIPANTS

  • Ambassador Romulo, Philippine Embassy
  • The Secretary
  • Mr. Emmons, Acting Director, Office of Southwest Pacific Affairs

Ambassador Romulo called at his request upon the Secretary at 10 this morning to discuss the latest United States views on the question of the size of the Philippine sugar quota for the current calendar year. The Ambassador recalled that he had sent several notes to the Department on [Page 768]this subject, the latest of which was on May 24.1 In these notes the Government of the Philippines had taken exception to the proposed reduction of the Philippine sugar allocation for the current year and had pointed out that this reduction had been made without providing the Philippine Government with a chance to prove or disprove their ability to deliver to the United States the quantity of sugar which had originally been allocated. The Philippines placed great stress upon the restitution of the full, original quota which it had been allotted, this being a matter of utmost importance to its economy. The Ambassador added that he had discussed this question personally with Congressmen Cooley Poage and Miller.

The Secretary responded that further study had been given to the question of the Philippine sugar quota and that the matter was again under the most active consideration; the Secretary of Agriculture was even now being approached in an effort to secure his formal agreement to the restitution of the original quota and the Department was doing all that it could to get the earliest possible favorable decision. The Secretary very much hoped that a definitive answer could be given to Ambassador Romulo before his departure for the Philippines later this week.2

The Secretary then asked how matters stood with respect to the importation of American tobacco into the Philippines, since this question seemed to have been at least somewhat associated with the question of sugar.

Ambassador Romulo replied that he had every confidence that the licensing of United States tobacco imports would be promptly liberalized and that President Garcia is personally supporting such a policy.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 411.966/6–2861. Official Use Only. Drafted by Emmons and approved in S on July 12. A separate memorandum of conversation covers the discussion between Rusk and Romulo on the Zablocki Bill on war damage claims. Rusk informed Romulo that the United States was anxious to settle this long-standing claim. Romulo indicated that his discussion with Congressman Walter Judd led him to believe that Judd was ready to support the bill. (Ibid., 211.9641/6–2861)
  2. The May 24 note is ibid., 411.966/5–2461.
  3. On June 30, the Department of State informed the Embassy in Manila and Ambassador Romulo who was then in New York that an additional Philippine sugar allotment of 150,000 tons had been approved. (Telegram 1501 to Manila, June 30; ibid., 411.966/6–3061) According to telegram 2 from Manila, July 3, the response in the Philippines was enthusiastic and considered not just as a “correction of an apparent injustice,” but also an “act of generosity.” (Ibid., 411.966/7–361)