File No. 711.38/32.
Chargé Davis to the Secretary of State.
Port au Prince, September 14, 1915—8 p.m.
Early this morning Haitian Minister for Foreign Affairs called at American Legation and announced Haitian Government ready to [Page 447]sign the treaty as proposed your telegram September 12, 3 p.m., enter into modus vivendi embodying same terms as treaty, and submit treaty for immediate ratification. My instructions regarding modus vivendi contemplate previous vote same by Haitian Congress. Haitian Minister for Foreign Affairs declares Haitian Government fully empowered to request and enter into such an agreement without previous vote by Haitian Congress.
It is respectfully submitted that this is preferable mode of procedure as under it treaty stipulations will be binding upon Haitian Government from the signature, and this would obviate possible foreign courts unexpectedly blocking operations under same by failure to ratify or to request modus vivendi.
In a conversation with Haitian Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister of Finance this afternoon they point out that Haitian Government has only about 600,000 gourdes with which to meet running expenses and pay arrears in salaries, etc., which are still owing for fiscal year which ends with this month. Also pointed out necessity for funds for meeting Government expenses until details of operation of the treaty arranged and income realized under its operation.
For reasons above and also desiring to have law which authorized issue of 8,000,000 gourdes, only 3,000,000 of which have been issued, repealed by Haitian Congress, they are most anxious to have an official statement to the effect that the United States will use its good offices to aid Haitian Government in securing immediate temporary loan for these purposes. I stated that in my opinion it would not be difficult to secure such a loan upon ratification of treaty.
Basing calculations on amount already owing and on advances formally made under budgetary convention, Haitian Government will require from $1,000,000 to $1,500,000 in order to liquidate this year’s past due debts and to furnish funds for this in future. A statement by United States that it will aid in securing loan for above purposes will be greatly beneficial to Government both in securing ratification and with public generally.
Await your answer as to this and also as to mode of securing modus vivendi.