File No. 838.51/483

The Minister of Haiti to the Secretary of State


Mr. Secretary of State: I have the honor to inform your excellency that a contract for the repairing of the streets and wharves of Port au Prince dated October 15, 1912, and flowing from a concession deed approved by the Legislative Body on August 27, 1910, granted to a corporation styled Compagnie Haitienne de Construction a special appropriation bearing on “all the important duties yielded by oils and essential oils of all kinds (kerosene, turpentine and others) paint, matches, tar, rosin and coal tar.” The said appropriation was estimated at not less than seven thousand dollars a month and if falling short of that amount, the difference was to be made good by the duties on “coffee and coffee sorting,” collected ex officio by the National Bank of the Republic of Haiti.

The construction company has been receiving since September 1915, seven thousand dollars a month to be applied to the settlement of work under way. But these monthly payments which helped to keep running work going are not enough to cover a balance of $45,372.12 due the company since its last settlement with my Government. It has agreed to receive up to that amount monthly instalments of 5,000 dollars and to begin work on new sections at once. But it has met with a refusal on the part of Mr. Charles Conard, Collector of Customs, who, though admitting that the work is urgently needed, declared that he was without instructions from Washington in the matter.

On hearing of the objection, my Government has instructed me to bring the facts to your excellency’s knowledge in the hope that the Compagnie Haitienne de Construction may be given the means of carrying on a work whose usefulness cannot be overstated.

Be pleased [etc.]

Solon Ménos