File No. 838.5l/500a.
The Secretary of State to the Secretary of the Navy.
Washington, August 18, 1915.
Sir: In order that duties upon imports and exports paid by merchants and shippers in Haiti to those now in control of customhouses may not be lost to the Haitian people, and in order to provide funds for organizing and maintaining an efficient constabulary, for conducting such temporary public works as will afford immediate relief through employment for the starving populace and the discharged soldiery, so as to bring that peace and contentment to Haiti which is the sole purpose and desire of this Government, and, finally, for supporting the Dartiguenave Governmental have the honor to request that you will be good enough to have instructions issued to Admiral Caperton to assume charge of the following customhouses of Haiti: Jacmel, Auxcayes, Jérémie, Miragoana, Petit Goave, Port au Prince, St. Marc, Gonaives, Port de Paix, Cape Haitien.
The American officials to be placed in charge of these customhouses should be supplied with the customs guards necessary to efficiency in each instance, and they should be ordered to collect all import and export duties, which shall be immediately deposited by them with the respective local branch of the National Bank of Haiti, in a separate account opened in the name of the Admiral, and which shall be drawn against for the purposes mentioned above, the surplus to be held for the time being by the United States Government in trust for the people of Haiti.
If it be found practicable, it might prove most expedient to detail a small vessel, preferably the Eagle, to convey the necessary American officials to each of these ports and to keep in touch with the several units.
I have [etc.]