Cabinet Meeting Minutes, January 24, 1947. Matthew J. Connelly Papers - Notes on Cabinet Meetings II.
CABINET MEETING, JANUARY 24TH, 1947
Brought up the Puerto Rican sugar situation. Read letter asking for aid to Puerto Rico from the Governor. Cost of living in the Islands has gone up 3 times what it was before controls were lifted.
Want a simple subsidy on sugar, rice, beans, codfish, etc. They are squeezed and natives will suffer from malnutrition. Asked for opinion of Agriculture.
We are morally bound to assist.
It would be better to subsidize rather than raise Puerto Rican price of sugar. Any P.R. increase would cause price rise in sugar in Cuba. We can ship them lots of potatoes - wheat - at reasonable prices. There is no reason why they can't control rice prices.
P. R. is part of U. S. Disagreed that controls could be imposed on commodity prices. We would have to give them the authority or the money to subsidize.
Instructed Anderson & Krug to get together with the Governor of P. R.
SECTY OF STATE
Mexican hoof & mouth disease is now within 100 miles of the U. S. border. Unless something is done quickly there will be border trouble on Texas-Mexico front. It might be helpful to increase guards along border - but in any case there should be fast overt action.
Reviewed the situation. This started with importation of bulls at Vera Cruz from Brazil. U. S. warned Mexico that border would be closed if bulls were allowed to land in Mexico. This was done. Later it was agreed that bulls would not be allowed on mainland and border was reopened. The agreement was violated and bulls were landed at Vera Cruz - after American bought their way thru Mexican Govt. to get this done. The border was again closed.
The Mexican Govt. will not ask for U. S. assistance. We cannot volunteer more veterinarians unless we are asked for them. The reason is that we would insist upon American standards of packing house sanitation. Mexican Govt. does not want this.
Will speak to Mexican Ambassador today.
There is a terrific risk in this epidemic but we can't head it off without Mexican Govt. co-operation. Wants to get emergency powers recommendation to Congress as quickly as possible to offset hurried Congressional action. Designated Att Gen to go to Congress on the recommendations.
Had inquiry from Byrd asking for employment figures in Govt. depts.
Suggested that Steelman co-ordinate & clear replies to Byrd. The answer to such queries should go to the Chairman of the Appropriations Committee - not to provide a speech for Byrd.
Venezuela has requested veterinarian to set up sanitary inspection systems.
Agreed request should be complied with.
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