File No. 711.38/29.


Your September 10, 4 p.m. Preamble to treaty submitted by Department August 12, 1915, was prepared in July 1914. As Haitians were familiar with it then, and it but moderately described conditions in Haiti last month, the Department proposed to let that preamble stand as a partial exposition of the necessities for making the convention.

Since Dr. Borno, now Minister for Foreign Affairs, has stated to you that Haitian counterdraft treaty, as submitted in your cable under acknowledgment, was made to concede all demands of the United States in manner less humiliating to Haiti, the Department accepts the Preamble and Article I as drafted by Haitians.

You will not fail to point out to the new Minister for Foreign Affairs that his use of the phrase “United States demands” is not in consonance with the voluntary offers made by those who, after the carnage at Port au Prince in August last, upon seeing the national existence threatened and descending into anarchy, undertook to head a government only after receiving the assurance that the marines would remain on the ground and preserve life and order. The things which the United States considers to be necessary for the rehabilitation of Haiti fall far short of the offers freely made by these Haitians to Admiral Caperton on August 7, 1915. The Department therefore expects that this cable, which reflects a most liberal spirit on the part of this Government to show every possible consideration for Haitian sensibilities, will put an end to questions of further amendment and result in an immediate conclusion of the treaty as herein described.

If the consummation of this treaty does not affect the assurances of the President and Minister of the Interior conveyed in your September 10, 4 p.m., you need not require previous resolution by [Page 446] Congress, provided the Haitian Government undertakes to enter into modus vivendi as explained in the Department’s telegram of August 24, 9 p.m.

Article II of Haitian draft to read as follows: “The President of Haiti shall appoint, upon nomination by the President of the United States, a General Receiver, etc.,” to end of sentence. Second sentence to read: “The President of Haiti shall appoint, upon nomination by the President of the United States, a Financial Adviser, who shall be an officer attached to the Ministry of Finance, to give effect to whose proposals and labors the Minister will lend efficient aid.” Last sentence Haitian draft this article accepted.

Articles III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, and IX of Haitian draft accepted.

Article X of Haitian draft accepted with the following changes: After “Americans” read “appointed by the President of Haiti, upon nomination by the President of the United States.” Fourth sentence to read: “These officers will be replaced by Haitians as they, by examination conducted under the direction of a board to be selected by the senior American officer of this constabulary, are found to be qualified to assume such duties.”

The Department has no objection to Article XI of Haitian draft, being conscious of the right of the high contracting parties, should they so desire, to enter into a subsequent convention or treaty altering or superseding the provisions of the treaty now to be concluded.

The Department wishes to lay stress upon the importance and advisability of permitting the text of Article XI of the original draft to stand in the place of the text proposed for Article XII of the Haitian draft. The adjustment and liquidation of Haitian debts may not prove feasible if their settlement should be left to as many arbitrations as there may be nationalities of holders. It is self-evident that an arrangement for present loan can only be made through a single plan of adjustment. The Department is unable to perceive how the Government of Haiti can fail to understand the disinterested purpose of the United States in placing itself between the Government of Haiti and the possible excessive demands of all foreign claimants. Original draft this article therefore stands.

Articles XIII, XIV and XV of Haitian draft accepted.

Articles XVI of Haitian draft, after the word “parties,” change to read “the purpose of this treaty has not been fully accomplished.”

In view of the general acceptance of the modifications proposed by the Haitian Government, this Government repeats its expectations that the treaty will be concluded and ratified without further delay.