File No. 838.111/132.

The American Consul at Kingston, Jamaica, to the Secretary of State.

No. 156.]

Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of the Department’s instruction No. 159 of August 27, 1913,1 enclosing, for my information, a copy of dispatch No. 1263 of July 25, 1913, from the American Minister at Post au Prince relative to the belief of the Government of Haiti that Syrians in Jamaica are seeking to overthrow the Government and directing me to forward a report regarding the attitude of Syrians in Jamaica towards the Haitian Government.

From what I have been able to learn I am convinced that the Syrians in Jamaica are in no way endeavoring to overthrow the present Government in Haiti or furnishing funds for the purpose. I have called upon the managers of the three banks in Kingston and [Page 585] am told, confidentially, that but very few of the Syrians here have bank accounts at all and those, are very small. The great majority of the Syrians in Jamaica have been here for a number of years and are well known to the banking houses, which have expressed their belief that they are in no way actively inimical to the Haitian Government, being but small traders carrying their stock of goods on their backs. The manager of the Colonial Bank, the oldest bank in Kingston, ridicules the idea that the Syrians of Jamaica are in any way connected with a movement to support a revolution in Haiti as he was convinced that if they transmitted funds to Haiti it would be through his bank and that no drafts of any considerable amount had been sent through his house to Haiti by Syrians.

I am endeavoring to ascertain the number of persons of Syrian origin in Jamaica and the occupations they pursue but it is extremely difficult to secure reliable information either from Government or private sources. As soon as I can collect the data I shall at once transmit it to the Department.

I believe the hostility of the Haitian and the Dominican Governments, which exclude persons of Syrian origin from entering their respective countries, is due to their activity in trading and driving the duller native from business. Even in such an enlightened country as Jamaica the retail merchants have complained to the Government of the ceaseless activity of Syrians and Chinese in supplanting the natives in certain lines of business and the question will undoubtedly be brought before the Legislative Council of the Island when it again meets.

I have [etc.]

Leo Bergholz.
  1. Not printed.↩