Mr. Hill to Mr. Terres.
Washington, September 21, 1899.
Sir: I have to acknowledge the receipt of Mr. Powell’s No. 640, of the 29th ultimo, stating that his discussion of the Haitian law requiring foreigners to apply to the President for patents or licenses to enter or continue business, and to pay fees therefor, had resulted, so far as American citizens were concerned, in the minister of foreign relations admitting that under the treaty with the United States they could not be compelled to pay a higher license fee than Haitians. The minister, however, persisted in maintaining that the regulation that they should apply to the President was a police regulation which must be observed, and which was not in contravention of the treaty.
In reply I have to say that the ground upon which this Government has always contested the right of the Haitian Government to impose and collect a fee for a license to American citizens to do business in Haiti is that such action is in violation of the treaty provision which declares that they shall not be compelled to pay “any contributions whatever” higher or other than those that are or may be paid by natives.
Neither this provision of the treaty nor any other, so far as the Department is aware, would justify this Government in contesting the Haitian requirement that American citizens shall make applications for licenses to conduct business.
Nor can the Department perceive how any right would be waived by failure to object to such a requirement.
I am, etc.,