Mr. Smythe to Mr. Gresham.
Port au Prince , March 3, 1894 .
Sir: In the official Moniteur of last Saturday appeared the following:
Whereas international law confers on each independent State the right to expel from its territory foreigners whose actions are dangerous to public tranquillity and order, considering that the presence in Haiti of Messieurs L. Clouchier, Boisson, Chardon, Paul Andreoli, Antoine Duthiers, and George Duthiers is judged to be dangerous to public safety, on advice of the council of secretaries of state, it is ordered:
- Act. 1. The Messieurs L. Clouchier, Boisson, Chardon, Paul Andreoli, Antoine Duthiers, and George Duthiers are expelled from the territory of the Republic of Haiti, and shall be embarked on board the first steamer leaving for a foreign port.
- Act. 2. The chief of the administrative police of the capital is charged with the execution of this order.
All these are French citizens, some of whom have accumulated fortunes here. It has not transpired what proof the Government has, but inasmuch as I have heard of no protest on the part of the French legation, we may take it that sufficient proof existed. On the other hand, it is possible that these parties may have been denounced by personal enemies, and in case American citizens in business here should fall under the displeasure or suspicion of the Government, I hope that instructions will be given me at the earliest moment practicable as to the course to pursue—whether under our treaty I would have the right to demand the production of proof of such, citizens’ connection with treasonable practices, which would justify the virtual confiscation of his property (through the ruin of his business). Another phase of the question might be presented. On faith of treaty stipulations, American citizens have invested large sums of money in business tending to the development of the country, and some of them have loaned large sums of money to the Government. In case one of these should be denounced, might there not exist a right to demand a guaranty for such investments or loans? It is conceded here, and I think in Government circles, that American citizens are never engaged in conspiracies against the existing order, but still I consider that I should be advised as to what course to pursue in case of such an exigency, and especially as American citizens feel more or less uneasiness in the premises.
As at least collaterally bearing on the subject, permit me to say that after a careful study of the subject, under conditions peculiarly favorable to a correct judgment, I can see no probability of a successful movement against the present Government. Men of influence and wealth—without whose aid no revolutionary movement can succeed here—are content with the existing order and would uphold it rather than enter into schemes to destroy it. The Government has good credit, as was evinced recently when merchants here offered a loan of $500,000 at less than the usual rate of interest, and it was declined.
I have, etc.,