File No. 711.38/24.
The Secretary of State to Chargé Davis.
Washington, August 24, 1915—9 p.m.
The United States desires to deal justly and considerately with Haitians. It covets no Haitian territory, nor does it desire to usurp Haitian sovereignty or seek treaty conditions other than for the welfare of the Haitian people.
When the Haitians, as reported in Admiral Caperton’s telegram dated August 7, proposed to cede outright, without restriction, Mole St. Nicholas, the Government of the United States, in its desire to avoid anything that would seem like an infringement of the territorial sovereignty of Haiti, declined to insert such a provision in the treaty. This action on the part of the United States stands as an evidence of its good faith and unselfish motives.
Reposing full credence in the statements which Dartiguenave and the members of the Haitian Congress had made to Admiral Caperton, the Department naturally expected a speedy ratification of the treaty, and it expected that at the same time a resolution would be passed by the Haitian Congress inviting the United States to enter into a modus vivendi which, having provisions similar to the treaty, would be operative until action on the treaty by the United States Senate.[Page 438]
Your August 23, 4 p.m., indicates that the de facto authorities give little evidence of their purpose to comply with their offers of August 7.6 If the previous understanding, which has influenced the conduct of this Government, does not result in a prompt ratification of the treaty, then this Government will be compelled to consider the adoption of one of the following courses: First, establishing there a military government until honest elections can be held; second, permitting the control of the government to pass to some other political faction representative of the best elements of Haiti whose members will be willing to join in the prompt reestablishment of a stable government and permanent domestic peace.
In the event of the resignation, of de facto authorities, Admiral Caperton will be instructed immediately to take the necessary means to accomplish one or the other of the two objects.
Use the foregoing discreetly and orally impress upon the President elect, and his supporters, serious consequences which may result if they should force this Government to adopt one of the above alternatives. It seems to this Government that the adoption of the treaty as proposed is the simplest method of establishing the stable and efficient government desired by all.
- Telegram from Admiral Caperton.↩