File No. 838.111/119.

The Department of State to the Haitian Legation.

aide mémoire.

Referring to the matter of the right of persons of Syrian origin to do business in Haiti, which has hitherto been the subject of correspondence between the Governments of the United States and Haiti both through the Haitian Legation at this capital and the American Legation at Port-au-Prince, it will be remembered that during the course of the previous discussion it was agreed by the Government of Haiti that American citizens of Syrian origin who had been naturalized or had taken steps to become naturalized prior to the Haitian Law of 1903, should be exempted from the operation of the law and given licenses to trade.

It was hoped that this action by the Haitian Government would obviate to some degree the difficulties which had arisen by reason of Haiti’s recent enforcement of the measures directed against persons of Syrian origin. It appears, however, that the condition of these persons since that action was taken has not been satisfactory and that the American Legation at Port-au-Prince has been forced on numerous occasions to appeal to the Government of Haiti to protect American citizens of Syrian origin from annoyances and embarrassments, which would appear to have been unnecessary and unwarranted, caused by aggressions on the part of the subordinate Haitian authorities.

It would seem that having permitted these American citizens to do business under sanction of Haitian law, the Government of Haiti may rightfully be expected to afford them all due protection and respect. The Department consequently trusts that when the purport of this communication, which has been induced by repetition of the aggressions mentioned above against American citizens, is brought to the attention of the Haitian Government it will take all necessary measures to insure to the American citizens in question the protection and freedom from molestation which their Government now requests for them.