File No. 838.51/580

The Haitian Minister to the Division of Latin American Affairs


Dear Mr. Stabler: I take great pleasure in handing you herewith a memorandum about an order issued as far back as February 1916 by Admiral Caper ton on the subject of attachments affecting officials of the Republic of Haiti.

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I should be thankful if you would as far as possible expedite the settlement of this question.

Be pleased to accept [etc.]

Solon Ménos

In the month of February 1916, Admiral Caperton ordered the Banque Nationale of the Republic of Haiti to pay no attention to certain attachments made of the salaries of public officials, and declared that judgments alone were to be respected.

The Department of Foreign Relations on the 24th of the same month of February wrote to the Legation of the United States at Port au Prince a reminder that, under the law of Haiti, the bank must, without discrimination among the claims, respect any attachment or garnishment lodged with it, until otherwise ordered by a wit of a court, and that, therefore, Admiral Caperton’s order involved a breach of the law as well as an injury to private rights; it closed its letter with a request that the order be repealed and in any event disclaimed any of the responsibilities that might arise therefrom.

Article 478 of the Code of Civil Procedure of Haiti is as clear as can be: “Any creditor may on the strength of private or recorded vouchers, attach in the hands of a third party the moneys or effects belonging to the debtor and oppose their delivery”.

. This but peremptorily demonstrates that Admiral Caperton was in error when he ordered the Banque Nationale of the Republic of Haiti to pay the public officials their salaries in spite of their being garnisheed.

So there is occasion to bring to an end a state of things which constitutes an evident disregard of the law of Haiti and an injury to legitimate interests.