Minister Powell to the Secretary of State.
Port au Prince , November 18, 1905 .
Sir: I have the honor to call Department’s attention to inclosed letter from our consul at the Cape, Dr. L. W. Livingston, in which he states that certain naturalized American citizens (Syrian origin) [Page 549] who, having conformed to the laws of the Republic, have not received their licenses for the present year. Without such a license it is impossible for them to secure their merchandise from the custom house. I have called the attention of the minister of foreign affairs to this matter, and have requested to be informed as to the intention of the government in regard to granting licenses to them.
I have learned from sources not official that it is the intention of the government not to grant licenses to anyone who is a foreigner, and of Syrian origin. If such is the intention of the government, not to grant these licenses, it has erred in receiving the amounts for such licenses in money, giving them (Syrians) the right to suppose that they would receive licenses in due time, and leading them to purchase large stocks which they can not secure from the custom-house. Some of these goods are liable to shrinkage, or spoil, subjecting these people as well as our merchants in New York, to serious loss and for which this government claims it is not responsible.
I have, etc.,