Franklin D. Roosevelt

Letter on the Pending Sugar Legislation.

August 11, 1937

My dear Pat:

The amendment to H.R. 7667 adopted yesterday by the Senate Finance Committee has just been brought to my attention.

I am delighted to note that the committee recognizes that our territories and island possessions are integral parts of the United States and cannot be discriminated against, and that the restrictions on refining in those territories contained in H.R. 7667 constitute such a discrimination.

I regret that an examination of the committee amendment shows that it not only does not eliminate the discrimination, but introduces a new and highly objectionable feature. The discrimination contained in H.R. 7667 is that sugar producers in Hawaii, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands are prohibited from refining there the sugar which they are permitted to produce under the quota, while there is no similar prohibition on the other areas in the United States. The amendment, which places a refining quota on continental United States, at a figure far in excess of the largest quantity of sugar grown there, merely perpetuates this discrimination.

The amendment proposes to limit by law the quantity of sugar that may be refined in various geographical parts of the United States. This introduces a principle of geographical limitations on manufacturing in our country which has no economic or social justification in this instance, and would constitute a dangerous .precedent.

Agricultural legislation, so desired by our farmers, should not be further delayed by the insertion in an otherwise acceptable agricultural bill of manufacturing restrictions. Their elimination would serve the best interests of our agricultural producers who desire legislation at this session. If interested parties think there should be manufacturing restrictions on sugar refining, that can be embodied in a separate bill and be considered separately.

Sincerely yours,

Hon. Pat Harrison, United States Senate.

Franklin D. Roosevelt, Letter on the Pending Sugar Legislation. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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