Mr. Powell to Mr. Hay.

No. 545.]

Sir: I transmit to the Department under this inclosure the correspondence that has lately passed between the foreign office of the Haitian Government and the legation upon an attempt on the part of the Haitian authorities to arrest one of the employees of Dr. J. B. Terres, the vice-consul-general.

The correspondence will give the history of the case and my action in the matter. I have since had an interview with the secretary of foreign affairs ad interim, Hon. Stephan Lafontant, and believe the incident to be happily closed without friction, the Haitian secretary of foreign affairs stating the unpleasant incident arose from a misinterpretation of orders on the part of subordinate officials; that they were not authorized to make such arrest or to invade the domicile of our vice-consul-general.

The Department will favor me to pass upon my action.

I have, etc.,

W. F. Powell.
[Inclosure 1.]

Mr. Terres to Mr. Powell.

No. 309.]

My Dear Minister: On the afternoon of the 29th, when I arrived at my residence, I found at the entrance and also on the premises some fifteen or twenty Haitian soldiers, who, however, withdrew before I had time to reach the gate. I inquired of one of my domestics what was their mission. He replied that they had come with an order to arrest two men I had employed on the premises.

The following morning, in coming from my bath, I found two Haitian generals stationed on the gallery of my house. I asked them what was their mission. They informed me that they had an order to arrest two Spaniards that I had in my employment. I demanded who had given them such orders. They replied that it was an order from the minister of the interior. I told them that I did not admit of any right on his part to invade my premises with an armed force under any pretext whatever, and that if he desired any information from me on any matter, to write to me officially and I would answer him.

Mr. Minister, I most solemnly protest against any such action on the part of the Haitian Government, and I lay these facts before you hoping that you will take such steps as you may deem necessary to prevent a like occurrence.

I am, etc.,

John B. Terres.
[Page 375]
[Inclosure 2.]

Mr. Terres to Mr. Powell.

Sir: On the afternoon of the 30th ultimo I received from the minister of the interior the inclosed communication, which I transmit to you with my reply to same.

Respectfully, etc.,

John B. Terres.

Mr. Auguste to Mr. Terres.

Mr. the Vice-Consul: On the request of the chargé d’affaires of the Dominican Republic addressed to me, I would be greatly pleased if you would have delivered Mr. Marcon Aroche (Alvarez) to the chief of the post of Carrefour. Mr. Marcon Aroche, alias Alvarez, works at present in the tobacco plantation that belongs to you and which you have established in that quarter.

Please accept, etc.,

T. Auguste.

Mr. Terres to Mr. Auguste.

Sir: I have your favor of March 30. I have carefully noted the statement you have made therein. In reply to your communication I beg to inform you that I have brought this matter to the attention of our minister, who will take such steps as he may deem necessary to prevent our homes being invaded in future.

I am, etc.,

John B. Terres.
[Inclosure 3.]

Mr. Powell to Mr. Lafontant.

Sir: Dr. J. B. Terres, the United States vice-consul-general, informs me this morning that his premises were entered yesterday upon an order from your honorable colleague, the Hon. T. Auguste, secretary of interior, for the purpose of arresting some of his employees, who were Cubans.

I desire to call your immediate attention to this matter, that in entering upon the premises of accredited officers of the United States, located in this Republic, is a grave infraction of international law, a recurrence of which will be very apt to lead to serious complications. I also desire to inform you that all Cubans resident in this Republic are under the protection of the United States while in the peaceful performance of their work, and are not to be molested.

You will greatly favor me by calling the attention of your honorable colleague, the Hon. Tancrede Auguste, to this matter, that your Government has no right to enter upon the premises of United States consular officers with either its military or its constabulary force.

Accept, etc.,

W. F. Powell.
[Page 376]
[Inclosure 4.—Translation.]

Mr. Lafontant to Mr. Powell.

Mr. Minister: I hasten to acknowledge reception of your important communication of yesterday’s date, which I immediately transmitted to the department of interior to obtain the necessary information.

However, and before even those informations, I can give you the assurance that it can never have entered in the intention of my colleague, Mr. the Secretary of State of the Interior, to give orders that may be of the nature to bring a violation of international laws and the violation of the dwelling of an accredited agent of the United States.

If a like circumstance has been able to take place, I remain convinced that it can only have been in consequence of badly interpreted instructions.

I take note that the Cubans residing in the Republic are under the protection of the Government of the United States of America, and I beg you to accept, Mr. Minister, the renewed assurance of my high consideration, etc.,

N. S. Lafontant.