File No. 711.38/77

The Minister of Haiti to the Secretary of State

Mr. Secretary of State. I have had the honor to receive the letter which your excellency was pleased to address to me on the fifth of this month respecting the documents sent by my Government and communicated by me to the Department of State with a view to exchanging the ratifications of the convention signed on September 16, 1915, between the Republic of Haiti and the United States.

Your excellency formulated an objection bearing on the interpretative commentary of the special committee of the Chamber of Deputies referred to in the sanctioning decree of the Legislative Body. But my Government, to which I did not fail to refer the matter and which was justified in believing that the United States had long been in possession of that commentary and had found no fault with it, is inclined to believe that this is simply a case of misapprehension.

It holds, indeed, that the adoption of the aforesaid commentary was not intended to and did not amend the convention and that is no [Page 327] doubt the reason why it was not deemed indispensable to lay it before the Senate of the United States when it was asked to concur in the ratification of the convention by the President of the United States. The Legislative Body of Haiti solely meant to forestall, in the very language of the committee of the Chamber of Deputies, possible difficulties of interpretation, and to make known to the Haitian nation “clearly, unequivocally, the obligations it assumed”. And that is why the Secretary of State for Foreign Relations did not hesitate to indorse the considerations set forth in the commentary.

My Government, therefore, ever desirous of standing in accord with the Government of the United States, firmly hopes that the Department of State will accept the interpretative commentary in so far as it does not conflict with the terms of the Convention of September 16, 1915.

Trusting that nothing may stand in the way of the exchange of ratifications, I beg you to accept [etc.]

Solon Ménos