711.38/124a: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Minister in Haiti (Bailly-Blanchard)

Confidential. In order to effect greater coordination among the Treaty officials in Haiti, namely, the Chief of Gendarmerie,4 the [Page 306]Financial Adviser, General Receiver of Customs, the Engineer in charge of Public Works, the Engineer in charge of Sanitation, the Department desires that they should have a conference once a week, or oftener if necessary; this conference to take place at the American Legation and to be presided over by the American Minister. At these meetings, matters of general importance should be discussed, especially any difficulties or differences which may have arisen between particular Treaty officials and the Haitian Government. In the event that any such difficulty does not appear capable of solution by the particular Treaty official, the latter may request the American Minister to present the matter to the Haitian Government as one which the United States considers desirable from the point of view of the Treaty. The Minister shall decide in each case, whether or not it is necessary for him to secure the approval of the Department prior to presentation of the matter to the Haitian Government; the general policy of the United States in the carrying out of the Treaty obligations in Haiti shall be a guide for the Minister in this connection. While the Minister shall have the ultimate decision in Haiti whether or not any particular matter shall be presented to the Haitian Government as described above, yet he should give careful consideration to the majority opinion of the conferees. It is to be noted in this regard, that the Department does not desire that these conferences shall afford an opportunity for the shifting of petty burdens and responsibilities from the shoulders of the officials participating therein, but rather should be used to coordinate the work of the different American officials and give them a means of consolidated expression in important matters where such expression is necessary to achieve the desired object.

You are instructed to act in accordance with the above and to request the before-mentioned officials to confer with you immediately at the Legation, when you will inform them of your instructions and that the Department desires the Treaty officials to act in conformity therewith. At this preliminary meeting you will choose the time for the regular weekly meeting and provide for the means of calling any special meetings which may from time to time be necessary. You should inform the conferees that the Department desires that these meetings be considered confidential. You are further instructed to forward to the Department a brief mail report of each conference; this to include the topics discussed, the opinions of the conferees, the decisions arrived at, any action taken by you and any other remarks you may consider pertinent.

Lansing
  1. The commanding officer of the American forces was also included, on the Minister’s suggestion, since the Chief of Gendarmerie was under his orders (File No. 711.38/126).