File No. 838.00/380

Admiral Caperton to the Secretary of the Navy

The President of Haiti and the members of his Cabinet were informed that no further funds would be turned over to the Government directly, but that necessary payment of salaries would be made to the individuals concerned, under the supervision of Rear Admiral Caperton or his representatives. As this appeared to be the most direct method of arriving at the desired end, it was decided to so proceed.
Payment by checks of a non-negotiable nature was decided upon as being the most expeditious and safest method of fulfilling the conditions laid down, that is, that funds should reach the hands of the individuals concerned. A modified form of check, or in reality a receipt, was drawn up and adopted, which is believed to be suitable for the purpose.
The procedure now being followed is divided into two stages; (a) That of inspecting the lists submitted, comparing with the budget to ascertain the legality of the payments in a general way, and sorting out salary lists from claims for payments of miscellaneous kinds; (b) that of preparing, receipts and lists of payees and delivering the receipts to the individuals concerned, who are then to cash them at the bank after proper identification. The first stage of the work has presented many difficulties. No definite budget of the authorized expenditures for the months of November and December 1915 is obtainable, the law of December 2, 1915 giving no details sufficient to be used as a guide. Consequently it was decided to work from the budget for the fiscal year 1914–1915. Exceptions will be [Page 342] made for sufficient cause and explanation, if deemed necessary. The lists submitted are carefully inspected and compared with the budget to insure that the proper positions and salaries are provided for. Those lists that pertain to Port au Prince are checked by Haitians familiar with the Government employees; absentees, duplications, etc., eliminated. As far as possible the same is done with lists pertaining to the provinces, but this will be later supplemented by investigation on the spot.
In spite of the understanding that payments are to be made to individual payees only, constant effort is being made to secure lump sums for subsequent distribution by the Haitian authorities. It was early suggested by the Minister of Finance that while arrangements were being made preliminary to starting the new system it would be well to transfer the first weekly payment of $25,000.00 for January in the old manner. It was explained that this was impossible. Several statements have been submitted designed to secure sums for general purposes, notably that for the secret police, which amounted to $5,000.00 approximately for December and a part of November, however, all impossible or doubtful claims are being laid aside, and the payable ones, after necessary corrections, are being put into shape for settlement.
As soon as an original list is fully corrected it is rewritten on the typewriter in triplicate. One copy is to go to the officer who distributes the receipts (except in Port au Prince, where this copy goes to the Executive Department of the Government to which the employees are attached), one copy goes to the bank, and the third is the file copy. These lists are marked with the Department, chapter and section of the budget to which they pertain. The receipts are prepared on the typewriter, being printed in strips, of five to a strip. Carbon copies of each strip are retained, this saving the added labor of writing stubs.
The method adopted is considered to be the best for carrying out the object in view, since the payee is required to present himself at the bank, be identified, and personally receive the money. The various branches of the bank throughout the country are better prepared to secure proper identification than any other agency. At the same time the plan provided for direct supervision of American authorities over the entire system.
W. B. Caperton