Messersmith, G.S., Havana. To W[illiam] L. Clayton, Washington.

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University of Delaware Library, Museums and Press
Cuban mission [to negotiate sale of 1942 sugar crop] leaving today and will meet with Clayton on Nov. 12; mission composed of [Amadeo] López Castro representing Government and two representatives each of the planters and mill owners; Lopez Castro an agricultural expert, understands Cuban sugar problems, and is close to President, but not certain he understands U.S. problems; Cubans not anxious to sell entire crop to U.S.; they fear increase in production while demand is great only to have market drop at end of war as it did after last war, but they want to cooperate with U.S. and are willing to sell; their only concern is price; Cuba's economy 85 percent based on sugar; they should not be expected to sell for a fixed price when the cost of all they import, 90 percent from U.S. is rising; suggests some sort of sliding scale be considered; Cuban wages must be raised to meet increased living costs and mills must be kept in repair at increased cost; price of $2.15 suggested by [Joshua] Bernhardt too low even for starting point; estimated 1942 sugar crop between 3 1/2 and 4 million long tons.
Messersmith, George S. (George Strausser), 1883-1960.