File No. 383.516/70.
The National Bank of the Republic of Haiti to the Secretary of State.
Sir: We beg to advise you that we have been informed by the acting manager (Mr. Williams) of the Banque Rationale de la République d’Haiti at Port au Prince that the Haitian Government has taken from the Bank the entire Treasury service of the Haitian Government; and we have been further advised, through cables from the American Minister at Port au Prince transmitted to your Department, that the taking of this service from the Bank is in pursuance of an official decree published in the official journal of the Government, ordering this removal of the service of Treasury from the Bank, and basing this action upon the alleged refusal of the Bank to receive in settlement for certain accounts the new gourdes, which the present unrecognized Government of Haiti is now about to issue to the extent of 16,000,000 gourdes.
The Directors of the Banque Rationale de la République d’Haiti desire hereby to enter with your Department a most formal protest against the action as above recited of the Haitian Government, as the withdrawal of the service of the Treasury from the Bank is a direct violation of the contract existing between the Haitian Government and the Bank for the performance of such Treasury service, and is not in any way justified by any overt act or any act of omission or commission on the part of the Bank to the best knowledge of its Directors.
Throughout the recent political disturbances in Haiti, the Directors of the Bank have taken great pains to see that the Bank observe in every detail the obligations of its contract, and the Directors have every reason now to believe that the recent unfriendly attitude and actions on the part of the Haitian officials of Government toward the Bank are due solely to the refusal of the Bank to advance money upon demands which had been made for loans without any adequate security.
The directors of the Bank have in their endeavors to maintain the good will of the Haitian Government and their desire to assist that country as far as they legitimately can, permitted the Bank to assume an amount of indebtedness of the Haitian Government very considerably beyond the limits provided for either in the Bank contract or under the rules which would ordinarily govern a bank manager [Page 511]in the prudent conduct of the affairs of such an institution. A point has now, however, been reached where the demands have become a menace not only to the Bank but to its personnel in Haiti. The attempt of the present de facto Government to pass legislation (such as the issue of the proposed 16,000,000 gourdes) which is in direct and complete violation of good faith, assails the integrity of the existing agreements between the Bank and the Haitian Government.
We beg [etc.],