File No. 711.38/92

The Secretary of State to the French Ambassador

No. 1739

Excellency: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your excellency’s note of July 28 last, in which, referring to previous correspondence and particularly to the note which I had the pleasure of addressing you on November 16, 1915, relative to the safeguarding of French interests in the Republic of Haiti, you request that, pursuant to the agreement mentioned therein, and as the ratifications of the treaty between this Government and the Republic of Haiti have been exchanged, there be placed on record by this Government a final expression of the understanding reached with reference thereto.

I am therefore happy to express as follows the understanding of my Government with relation to the points, in the order that they appear in my aforesaid note to your excellency of November 16, 1915:

1. Respect for the contracts existing between the Government of Haiti and the Banque Nationale has, I am happy to say, found expression in the good offices which the Department of State has been privileged to extend in the adjustment of the differences existing between the parties to the contracts and which resulted in the execution of an agreement mutually satisfactory to both parties, the receipt of a copy of which was acknowledged in an identic note, a copy of the text of which I have the honor to enclose herewith.

2. The desire of this Government to neglect nothing that will insure for French citizens treatment in Haiti equal to that accorded to Americans is as cordial as at the time when I first had the honor to express the sentiment.

3. The Financial Adviser to the Republic of Haiti, appointed pursuant to the terms of the relevant article of the Convention of September 16, 1915, has been directed, in the performance of his duties, to afford due consideration in his advisory capacity of such requests for the modification of present customs duties as may by him be regarded legitimate.

4. As your excellency is doubtless aware, Article XII of the aforementioned convention reads:

The Haitian Government agrees to execute with the United States a protocol for the settlement, by arbitration or otherwise, of all pending pecuniary claims of foreign corporations, companies, citizens, or subjects against Haiti.

In addition thereto and in order to comply in full with the spirit of the fourth point to which I now have reference, the Financial Adviser has also been directed to take under consideration all facts bearing upon pending pecuniary claims of whatever nature which may upon examination appear equitable in order that proper and opportune recommendations and representations may be made to accord with the relevant provisions of the convention.

5. I am happy to reiterate that no obstacle will be opposed by my Government to the use of French as the official language of Haiti or to its use in the schools of that country, and

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6. That the present ecclesiastical organization in Haiti will continue to command respect.

I trust that the above exposition of the matters under consideration will prove as satisfactory to your excellency’s Government as the expression thereof has been to the Government of the United States.

Accept [etc.]

Robert Lansing