File 838.77/107.

Minister Blanchard to the Secretary of State.

No. 12.]

Sir: Referring to your cable of October 2 and to my cable of October 14, I have the honor to forward herewith copy and translation of the aide memoire received from the Foreign Office in reply to this Legation’s memorandum on the subject of the controversy between the Haitian Government and the National Railroad Company of Haiti.

As you will observe, the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs of Haiti grants the request for a stay in proceedings up to December 28, as desired. He calls attention to the fact that, according to the terms of the contract, diplomatic intervention has been agreed upon by the parties to be inadmissible; and that arbitration, the principle and forms of which are provided for in the contract, has been adopted as the sole means of settling the differences, should there be occasion to have recourse thereto.

The Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs further states that in granting the request for the delay, the Haitian Government has been promoted solely by the dictates of international courtesy and expresses the hope that the National Railroad Company will, through its authorized representatives, submit propositions for an understanding. [Page 544]He further stipulates, should there be no agreement arrived at within the time granted, that the rights of all parties are reserved.

The Foreign Office notes further that the railroad company is disposed to propose a readjustment of the contract resulting in a possible shortening of the route, and economy and advantage to the Haitian Government.

The Minister for Foreign Affairs and General Charles Zamor, Minister of the Interior, expressed themselves as highly appreciative of the action of the Department of State, which they understood at the time to be in the light of an offer of its good offices. Later, however, upon my presentation of the memorandum which embodied your telegram in its corrected form, the Minister for Foreign Affairs remarked at once that the terms suggested contemplated diplomatic intervention, which was inadmissible, and insisted that all of his former statements to me in previous interviews on the subject were expressions of his personal views and therefore unofficial, and that he rested upon his first reply in writing.

Notwithstanding this change of attitude due to an absolute objection to diplomatic intervention, in view of the terms of the contract, I am convinced, inasmuch as the Minister for Foreign Affairs has since that time again reassured me of his favorable intentions, that the Haitian Government has every disposition to reach a mutually satisfactory solution; and, inasmuch as upon the failure to arrive at any conclusion during the delay granted, the rights of parties will be reserved, it would seem to be to the interest of all concerned to attempt a solution of the differences by above means.

I have [etc.]

A. Bailly-Blanchard.
[Inclosure—Translation.]

The Minister for Foreign Affairs to Minister Blanchard.

The Secretariat of State for Foreign Relations of Haiti, in reply to the memorandum of the American Legation of the 6th of October, has the honor to recall to the American Minister at Port au Prince the formal terms of its preceding note, dated September 29, 1914, of which the first point indicates the inadmissibility of any diplomatic intervention in the affair of the National Railroad Company of Haiti:

(a)
because such is the agreement of the parties,
(b)
because the parties have adopted arbitration as the sole means of settling possible differences between them.

However, while maintaining the principles and reasons of this inadmissibility, the Secretary of State for Foreign Relations of Haiti accepts, through pure international courtesy and for the high consideration which he personally has for the representative of the United States of America at Port au Prince, the request for a delay made in the name of the National Railroad Company, that is, until December 28, 1914. By this it can be seen that the Government of the Republic of Haiti has never had the intention to dispossess, to its profit, the National Railroad Company of its rights and advantages. This acceptance of delay being made under the express reserve that, if in the interval there is no understanding between the parties in interest, they will resume their rights which will stay and will remain in the same and similar state.

Consequently, the Secretariat of State for Foreign Relations hopes that during that lapse of time the National Railroad Company will submit to the Government of the Republic of Haiti, through its authorized representatives [Page 545]all the propositions for solution of the matter in conformity with the interests of the parties.

The Secretariat of State for Foreign Relations of Haiti takes note that the National Railroad Company is disposed to propose to the Government of Haiti a readjustment of the contracts, resulting in a possible shortening of route and an economy and advantage for the Government of the Republic of Haiti.

The Secretariat of State for Foreign Relations thinks it useful to remind his excellency M. Bailly-Blanchard, in answer to the last part of the memorandum in question, that the principle and the forms of arbitration are already provided for in the contract which binds the parties, in case there would be occasion to have recourse thereto.