Mr. Langston to Mr. Evarts.
Port au Prince, Hayti, June 21, 1879. (Received July 7.)
Sir: With regard to the political situation in this republic, I have the honor to advise you that the dispute between the Senate and Chamber of Deputies has not been adjusted; an adjustment seems now to be wholly impracticable. In refusing to recognize General Prophète as duly elected to the Senate, this body has been forced to take the broad ground that, in its judgment and according to its decision, the chamber is not legally constituted; and within a few days the senate has passed a resolution to the effect that it will not recognize any acts of the chamber as legal or constitutional.
The Chamber of Deputies maintains its position firmly, and justifies its constitution as legal, in view of numerous precedents furnished in the parliamentary history of the country; even going so far as to maintain that heretofore in the history of the government this body, with a smaller number of members than it now contains, was recognized as legally constituted, and was permitted to cast its vote for the election of President of the republic; no one at that time questioned the legality of its constitution.
On last Saturday, the 14th instant, the Chamber of Deputies passed a resolution affirming clearly and positively the correctness of its position, and prepared and ordered published an address to the people of the country in justification of its course. The address has not, as yet, been published.
The executive department of the government, the President and the cabinet, have taken steps, within two or three days, looking to a reconciliation between these co-ordinate branches of the Corps Législatif. The president and secretaries of the Chamber of Deputies, and the president and secretaries of the Senate, were invited to a conference with the President and his ministers at the national palace on last Tuesday, the 17th instant; but the officers of the chamber, staunch and unyielding Nationals in their party affiliations, and the officers of the Senate, [Page 559] staunch, and unyielding Liberals in their party affiliations, could only be brought, so far as adjustment of differences was concerned, to agree to bring the suggestions of the conference to the consideration of their different bodies; the officers of each body intimating that they knew of no reason why there should be any change with respect to the views severally maintained. So far no steps toward reconciliation seem to have been taken with earnest and intelligent purpose by the Chamber or Senate.
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I have, &c.,