File No. 711.38/47
The Secretary of State to the French Ambassador
Washington, November 16, 1915.
Excellency: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your excellency’s note of October 27, in regard to the safeguarding of French interests in the Republic of Haiti, which was formerly a French possession.[Page 386]
In reply I have the honor to state that, if the exchange of ratifications of the treaty between the United States and the Republic of Haiti, now pending before the Haitian Legislature, should take place, this Government will, in accordance with your excellency’s suggestion, agree by an exchange of notes to the following policy as to French interests in Haiti:
Respect for the contracts existing between the Government of Haiti and the Banque Rationale.
Nothing will be neglected to insure treatment for French citizens equal to that accorded to Americans.
In advising with the Haitian Government, consideration, in the most amicable spirit, or requests for such modifications of present customs duties as may in the circumstances be regarded legitimate.
Nothing will be neglected to reach a settlement as soon as possible, by either amicable or arbitral procedure, of all pending pecuniary foreign claims, including those based on facts anterior in date to the putting into effect of the pending treaty.
No opposition to French as the official language, or to the use of French in the schools of the country.
Respect for the present ecclesiastical organization.
I have duly noted the statement that your excellency’s Government proposes, upon the completion of the exchange of notes contemplated herein, to recognize the new Government of Haiti, to receive from it reparation for the violation of the French Legation, to remove the sailors now guarding the Legation and to withdraw the French cruiser from Haitian waters.