Minister Blanchard to the Secretary of State
Port au Prince, April 30, 1917.
Sir: Referring to the Department’s cable of March 1, 4 p.m., and to the Department’s instruction No. 115 of March 2, 1917, in regard to the differences between the Government of Haiti and the Compagnie [Page 832] Nationale des Chemins de Fer d’Haiti, I have the honor to forward herewith copy of a note addressed by this Legation to the Foreign Office under date of March 8, 1917, as well as copy and translation of the reply thereto dated April 23, 1917.
As you will observe, the Minister for Foreign Affairs states, in the, above reply, that the Council of the Secretaries of State decided on March 15, 1917, that the railroad company is not entitled to the interest guaranteed because the company had voluntarily suspended operating during the period corresponding to that guarantee, and that by its fault it had incurred foreclosure which had been legally declared; and that with respect to the bonds for the 2K230m., the signature is subordinate to the acceptance by the railroad company of the agreement signed between the Haitian Minister at Washington and Mr. Farnham on the 15th of February last.
In this connection I have the honor to report that pursuant to my note of March 8, I had two interviews with Mr. Borno, the then Minister of Foreign Affairs, to press the points at issue, the result of which was that I was given to understand that the bonds would be signed and that as to the payment of the six semiannual coupons now in default, there was under consideration a proposition, as a solution of this point, to extend the concession of the Compagnie Nationale des Chemins de Fer d’Haiti for a period equivalent to that during which payment had not been made. Mr. Borno stated that he looked forward to the Legation’s good offices in having this matter presented to the railroad company, to which I agreed.
I advised Mr. Charles Dupuy, the representative of the railroad company here, of the above, which, later on, he informed me had been confirmed to him by Mr. Borno to whom he had remarked that this solution could not be a satisfactory one to the present bondholders, for the reason that they would not receive the interest due them.
I have [etc.]