Mr. Hay to Mr. Powell.
Washington, May 9, 1904.
Sir: I have to acknowledge the receipt of Mr. Terres’s No. 1387, of the 19th ultimo, and to say in reply that neither this dispatch nor those of March 7 last advised the Department of the grounds of the refusal by the Haitian Government to grant patents or licenses to engage in business to the American citizens mentioned therein.
The Department infers that the ground of this refusal by the Haitian Government is the attitude of the Government of the United States asserting the invalidity of certain license taxes illegally imposed by the Haitian Government in violation of the treaty between the United States and Haiti. The correctness of the attitude of the Government of the United States in this matter has been repeatedly admitted by the Haitian Government; and if you find that the refusal to grant the patents mentioned is really based upon the grounds above indicated, you will advise the Haitian Government that the United States is unable to acquiesce in such refusal as being an act unfriendly to this Government because of the open disregard of solemn treaty engagements.
The Government of the United States would regret to be compelled to ask the Haitian Government for the immediate payment of full indemnity for any damages caused by its action to citizens of the United States, and in order to avert such a regrettable necessity you will request the Haitian Government to grant, without further delay, the patents requested by American citizens doing business in Haiti on terms consistent with the local laws and treaty obligations, the latter being paramount, if there should appear to be any conflict between the provisions of the treaty and those of the local laws.
I am, etc.,