File No. 838.00/1269.

The Acting Secretary of the Navy to the Secretary of State.

Sir: I have the honor to forward herewith, for your information, a copy of a report, dated August 13, 1915, received from the Commander of the Cruiser Squadron, Atlantic Fleet, relative to conditions in Haitian waters from August 7 to 12, inclusive.

Very sincerely yours,

W. S. Benson.
[Inclosure—Extract.]

Admiral Caperton to the Secretary of the Navy.

43. Last January the Treasury service, by an arbitrary act, was taken from the National Bank of Haiti, the National Treasury, and given to private banking firms, the principal one of which is Simmond Frères. Simmond Frères is under no control that will safeguard public interests. They merely make collections of the revenues, receive a certain percentage as their fee, and turn the rest over to whomsoever may exercise sufficient force or persuasion in the name of a government or revolution to obtain it. The result is that considerable money is being thus forced from Simmond Frères by the so-called revolutionary committees in various towns, and this money is being used to actively support revolutionary activity. On account of military necessity, therefore, I this day informed the committee in Port au Prince, Simmond Frères, and the National Bank of Haiti, that the Treasury service would be resumed by the National Bank of Haiti. This bank is under legal and exacting contract for the handling of the Treasury service for the country.

August 10, 1915.

54. I made arrangements this day with the National Bank of Haiti for the payment of ten gourdes to each soldier and one hundred gourdes to each chief disarmed and dismissed in the North.

55. I informed the commanding officer of the Connecticut that the National Bank of Haiti had resumed the Treasury service and had issued instructions [Page 520]to its representatives at Cape Haitien to pay the soldiers disarmed at that place. I directed the Connecticut to get in touch with the representatives of the Bank at Cape Haitien, make necessary arrangements for paying these troops, and supervise the payment himself.

W. B. Caperton.