File No. 838.51/464

The Secretary of State to Minister Blanchard


Your January 13, 9 a.m. Phraseology of provision regarding gendarmerie recommended for acceptance by President Dartiguenave in the Department’s January 8, 6 p.m. was submitted to the Haitian Commissioners. Minister Ménos declined to sign agreement embodying this wording, claiming that he considers telegraphic instruction received by him on sixth instant as expressing the opinion of his Government but not as instructions to agree thereto. The Commission also advanced the proposition that if the gendarmerie were considered as a military and police force its administration should fall under Department of War as well as that of the Interior.

The Department believes that the phraseology and provisions recommended are absolutely necessary to insure an efficient organization and the peace and prosperity of Haiti. In this Navy Department concurs.

Minister Ménos has agreed to telegraph his Government for instructions regarding the acceptance of our proposal. With a view to obtaining an agreement on these questions in which both Governments are in complete accord, you will immediately inform the President in person of the above and urge that the Commissioners be definitely instructed to accept and sign the agreement including the provision that the gendarmerie shall be considered as the sole military and police force of the Republic of Haiti, that the personal guard of the President shall be formed from members of the gendarmerie and that the gendarmerie shall be subject only to the directions of the President of Haiti and the Minister of the Interior.

Considerations of safety, efficiency and national expediency should prompt the President to direct the immediate issuance of these instructions in order that his Commissioners may conclude the agreement which is necessarily preparatory to the discussion of the financial situation.