File 838.77/115.

Minister Blanchard to the Secretary of State.

No. 30.]

Sir: Referring to my dispatch No. 26, I have the honor to forward herewith copy and translation of the note from the Foreign Office under date of January 13, 1915, notifying this Legation that unless the basis of an agreement, at least, was arrived at before January 20, that day would mark the end of the suspension previously accorded.

It will be observed that the Minister of Foreign Relations explains this action on the part of the Government by the fact that, [Page 547]since October 6 last, no propositions of agreement have been submitted and that an indefinite delay would cause grave prejudice to the interests of the State.

It will be further noted that the Minister of Foreign Relations expresses the hope that before January 20 the National Railroad Company will have decided to yield to the efforts which “the Department of State … has not failed to make to bring it to an arrangement.”

With reference to the above, I verbally reminded Mr. Borno that at the time that these negotiations were being had with the then Minister of Foreign Relations, Mr. Désert, he declined to accept the intervention of the Department of State in the settlement of this difference, claiming it to be contrary to the contract which, on its face, precluded diplomatic intervention, granting, on the ground of international courtesy, the request for a suspension made in the name of the National Railroad Company of Haiti—as reported in my telegram of October 14 and my dispatch No. 12 of October 16, 1914.

I have [etc.]

A. Bailly-Blanchard.
[Inclosure 1—Translation.]

The Minister for Foreign Affairs to Minister Blanchard.

Mr. Minister: By its memorandum of October 6, 1914, the Legation of the United States requested from the Department of Foreign Affairs a delay up to December 28, of the same year, in the procedure of adjudication of the contract of the National Railroad of Haiti.

In granting, by pure courtesy, the delay requested, my Department declared, in its reply of October 12, 1914, that this assent was made under the express reserve that, if in the interval no understanding was come to between the parties concerned, they would reserve their rights in same and similar state.

On December 24 last, the Legation of the United States having expressed the desire of the American Government to obtain a new delay, my Department on December 26 decided to consent to a delay up to a date to be fixed later, but stipulating that all things should remain as they are and that, if in the interval no understanding was come to between the parties concerned, the proceedings would continue in conformity with the contract which binds the Haitian State and the National Railroad Company of Haiti.

For the reason that from October 6, 1914, up to this date no proposition of agreement has been presented by the Company, and as an indefinite delay would cause grave prejudice to the interests of the State, I have the honor to bring to your knowledge that, after January 20, unless, at least, the basis of this agreement has been settled, the Haitian Government will be forced to carry out the executioon pure and simple of the contract of concession in that which concerns the procedure of adjudication.

I hope, Mr. Minister, that from now to January 20 next the National Railroad Company of Haiti will have decided finally to yield to the efforts which the Department of State, in conformity with the memorandum of October 6, from your Legation, has not failed to make to bring it to an arrangement “including readjustment of contracts and possible shortening of route resulting in saving and advantage to the Government.”

In that legitimate hope, I beg [etc.]

Louis Borno.