838.51/758: Telegram

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

Pursuant to Department’s November 30, 2 p.m. meetings of the treaty officials with Colonel Russell and to which General Catlin who since December 1 has relieved Colonel Russell of the command of the United States military forces ashore in Haiti was invited and attended, took place December 3 and 4.

The only revenue law providing for new taxation that has been proposed to the Haitian Government is the one referred to in the Department’s cable instructions of November 5th, 4 p.m.8 To this project of law the Haitian Government has not objected either to this Legation or to the Financial Adviser.

Since the appointment of the present Minister of Finance ad interim, he and the Financial Adviser have been in daily conference and yesterday reached a satisfactory agreement as to the budgetary laws which have been submitted by the Government to the Council of State and according to information just received have today been enacted into law. The question of control of disbursements, which was eliminated from the laws at the request of Haitian Government, has been settled by the following note received by me from the Minister for Foreign Affairs ad interim,9 translation:

“I am [happy] to be able to renew to Your Excellency the sincere and constant desire of the Government of the Republic to act always in conformity with the convention of September 16, 1915.

To realize this desire, the expenses being made in conformity with law and within the limits and credits regularly noted, I have the honor to communicate to Your Excellency that it is agreed that all payments for account of the Haitien Government shall be made with the advice of the Financial Adviser, and that to this end all instances of payment addressed to the General Receiver or to the Banque Nationale de la Republique d’Haiti shall be first sent to the Financial Adviser, and shall not be paid without his visa.”

The unanimous opinion of the meeting, in which I concur, is that the note delivered to the Department of State by the Haitian Chargé d’Affaires at Washington expresses the personal views of Mr. Borno, who was retired from the Cabinet by the President on the 25th ultimo because of his undue activities tending to disturb the relations existing between the Haitian Government, Department of State and treaty officials, and the impossibility of his cooperation with this Legation and with treaty officials. The conference further [Page 313] is of the opinion, in which I concur, that the retirement of Mr. Borno, and the agreement reached as to the budgetary laws and the control of disbursements, in removing present causes of friction, should lead to the cooperation necessary to bring about fulfillment of objects of treaty.

  1. Not printed.
  2. The note was dated Dec. 3, 1918.