Papers Relating to the Foreign Relations of the United States, With the Annual Message of the President Transmitted to Congress December 6, 1910
File No. 838.032/2.
Minister Furniss to the Secretary of State.
Port au Prince, September 6, 1910.
Sir: I have the honor to transmit herewith copy and translation of the message of President Simon read at the opening of the extra session of the Haitian Congress on the 5th instant.
I have, etc.,
national assembly—session of september 5, 1910.
Seated on the executive bench were Messrs. Murat Claude, Petion Pierre Andre, and Gens. Jeremie and Septimus Marius.
Mr. F. P. Paulin, the president of the senate, presided over the assembly and in the name of the Republic declared the opening of the extra session.
The secretary of interior took the floor.
“Honorable senators, honorable deputies,” said he, “the constitution gives to the chief of state the right to convoke you in an extra session. It makes it also his duty to render an account, through a message, of the necessity under which he finds himself for calling you together; therefore I beg you to give attention to the reading of the message that I am about to make.”
Message—François Antoine Simon, President of the Republic.
Messrs. Senators, Messrs. Deputies: At the beginning of my elevation to the First Magistracy of the Republic I applied myself especially toward seeking the quickest and most reasonable solution of the important financial question which has not up to the present hour ceased to absorb the thoughts of all patriots who are interested in the welfare of the Haitian nation.
Often in my addresses, as well as in my audiences, it has given me pleasure to renew the pledge which I voluntarily took before the nation to endow it with a money of good standard and discontinue the pernicious paper-money system. There has existed for a long time between the Government and the National Bank of Haiti a difference which, threatening to last forever, rendered ineffective all the efforts attempted with a view of ameliorating our financial situation. I thought that the sending of a commission to Paris might put an end to this state of affairs, which had become intolerable, and arrange at the same time the basis of a new financial scheme. In the execution of this scheme I met very great difficulties, but my firm faith and a better future has permitted me to overcome them. The financial mission, after having negotiated for the retirement of the national bank, has returned with three proposals of contracts which the council of secretaries of state has adopted after having made the necessary amendments, viz:
- An agreement for the canceling of the contract of the national bank of 1880.
- A contract for the establishment of a new State bank under the title of “National Bank of the Republic of Haiti,” negotiated between the Government and the bank “l’Union Parisenne,” in the name of a group of capitalists mentioned in the said contract.
- A contract for a loan between the Government and the same
group. The proceeds of the loan are to serve for the
- The entire withdrawal of our paper money within a maximum delay of two years and also of the nickel in a proportion that shall be deemed necessary.
- Redemption of the interior debt including the 6 per cent and 3 per cent consolidated loans, 6 per cent united loans, 2½ per cent loans (blue and rose titles), and the payment of the balance of the loan of August 20, 1909.
- Some urgent expenses of the public treasury.
During the session that has just closed, I proclaim it loudly, gentlemen, you have given your entire patriotism to help me to realize the greatest amount of good possible for the benefit of the Haitian nation.
The Executive on his part has neglected nothing for the purpose of presenting to you during the session all the proposals that were worthy of the attention of the representatives of the nation. But, on account of circumstances the examination of the financial reform proposals taking place only at the last hour, the secretary of state for finance did not have the time to submit them to you during the course of the ordinary session. That is why, Messrs. Senators and Deputies, I have taken the resolution to convene you in an extra session, convinced that you will take great pleasure in consecrating a few days more labor toward the work of national regeneration that we have inaugurated together during nearly two years. Since that period, gentlemen, what trouble have we not given ourselves, what anxieties have we not had, each one in his sphere of action, pursuing the solution of the same problems, to finally reach the same end.
The execution of this financial program is the realization of our common dreams. It is the consolidation of the public mind which was so difficult to lay hold of, in its complexity too changing to make of it an everlasting reality.
These new financial combinations are but the basis of a complete plan of government which I have never ceased to propagate and which can be summarized in a few words: The regeneration of the Republic by labor and the stability in its industrial relations with friendly powers.
Notwithstanding your good will, gentlemen, you have not been able to examine all the business submitted for your deliberation during the last session. The general administration of the country at the present hour beseeching more than ever the attention of the great public powers, I will recommend to your wisdom the solution of some questions of public utility, the urgency of which has been recognized and which have already been voted by the house of deputies.
With the hope that the result of your coming deliberations will strengthen still more the bonds already existing between the two great powers, I renew to you, Messrs. Senators, Messrs. Deputies, the expression of my highest consideration.
The President: Mr. Secretary of State, the National Assembly gives you an official acknowledgment of the deposit of this document.
The session is closed.