File No. 2126/195–197.

Minister Furniss to the Secretary of State.

No. 333.]

Sir: I have the honor to inclose herewith the correspondence between this legation and the Haitian Government relative to extending a few days’ delay in the execution of the orders of expulsion which had been issued against two parties who claimed American citizenship.

As pointed out in my No. 327 of March 12, 1908, I asked this delay that I might have time to receive the department’s instructions on the subject and that I might have opportunity to examine the citizenship of the parties in question. There was not, in fact, any delay in the embarkation of the two parties, as my investigation was finished in time for them to take the first steamer after the promulgation of the decree and before the receipt of the note refusing me the delay requested.

After a careful study and investigation of this matter of expulsion in Haiti, I am convinced that, if the present methods are persisted in, it is going to lead to very serious trouble for the Haitian Government. My colleagues of the diplomatic corps have expressed themselves to me as being particularly hostile to this summary manner of expulsion, and I look for an outbreak against it at any moment. It happens that so far no one of great importance or influence has been expelled; but when such a one is, as now seems to be threatened, it can not help but assume a very serious phase. On the other hand, the apparent injustice of the treatment accorded some of those who have been expelled, makes them worthy of sympathy, even if they have not sufficient influence or importance to obtain protection.

It would seem to me proper that some power, which is a friend to Haiti, should use its influence with Haiti to induce Haiti to stop her drastic action of expelling foreigners on a moment’s notice and without a hearing. It may be a sovereign right to expel without assigning causes or giving the party expelled a hearing, but the often repeated injustice of such action can not help but bring that right in question, and particularly so when it happens that the citizens or subjects of more powerful Governments may suffer so much thereby.

If persons chosen for expulsion have broken laws of Haiti, it would seem that they should be fairly tried, and condemned, if guilty. Under such circumstances no self-respecting Government could complain; but with the present arbitrary methods, and when members of the diplomatic corps claim to believe, if not know, that parties are often expelled as a result of intrigue, Haiti, by carrying out summary expulsion, is always liable to have a demonstration of [Page 434] force which will put in peril that very sovereignty which she claims she is so jealously guarding.

There is another phase to the subject. It is the often expressed desire of the present Government to have foreign capital seek investment in Haiti, and from personal observation there are many opportunities for legitimate investment. But this matter of expulsion without a hearing creates distrust and hinders the entrance of capital. Personally, I have known several such cases, and there must have been numerous other cases which have not come under my observation. Leaving aside present political conditions, no foreigner would advise another to invest here, and most of those who are here would liquidate, if they could, and would withdraw. This matter of expulsion seems to be a constant dread to all and can not help but detract from the prosperity of the country.

I have, etc.,

H. W. Furniss.
[Inclosure 1.]

Minister Furniss to the Acting Minister for Foreign Affairs.

No. 260.]

Sir: In Le Moniteur, of the 7th instant, there appears a decree of His Excellency the President expelling certain persons from Haiti. Among those mentioned are Aristide Lagojannis, at Port au Prince, and Adriano Grullon, at St. Marc, both of whom claim American citizenship and protection.

I understand that notice was yesterday served upon the parties mentioned, Informing them that they must leave Haiti by the first steamer, which will be to-day.

As both Mr. Lagojannis and Mr. Grullon are conducting business of considerable importance, it would manifestly be unjust to force them to leave on a day’s notice. I have, therefore, to request that you urgently bring this fact to the attention of His Excellency the President, and request of him that a delay of at least a week be given to the execution of the decree.

Please accept, etc.,

H. W. Furniss.
[Inclosure 2.—Translation.]

The Acting Minister for Foreign Affairs to Minister Furniss.

Mr. Minister: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your note No. 260, of the 10th instant, in which you state that Messrs Aristide Lagojannis and Adriano Grullon, American citizens expelled from Haitian territory, have claimed the protection of your legation, and ask me to request of His Excellency the President of the Republic a delay of about one week in the execution of the decree of the 7th instant, so as to permit your citizens to arrange the important affairs which they have in this country.

The Haitian Government, in taking action on your request, has directed me, while expressing the deep regret that it feels at not being able in this instance to comply with the request of the American legation, to observe that, if in time of peace, it has been able sometimes to find it convenient to put off for a few days the execution of a decree of expulsion, it has only been out of deference to the representatives of the friendly powers, and without in any manner alienating its sovereign rights; at the same time, when the urgency and exceptional gravity of the facts are of a nature to render illusionary, and likewise dangerous, any inclination toward clemency, when the object of the expulsion is for the suppression, not as a preventative, of acts that place the [Page 435] interior security of the country in danger, the least weakness would be culpable and the Government authorities have pressing obligations to take all necessary measures to prevent a repetition of events as unfortunate as those that have just troubled the country.

For these reasons, the firm conviction that I have, that only the enemies of public peace can wish for a prolongation of a crisis, the effects of which all our efforts tend to stop, does not permit me to doubt that the United States legation will fail to appreciate the reasons of great propriety which prevent the Government of the Republic from suspending the execution of the decree of March 7, 1908.

Please accept, etc.,

F. Marcelin.