838.044/11: Telegram

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

13. My 405, August 23, 1920.4 Department’s radio 94, October 10 [18], 6 p.m.5 regarding laws passed in violation of the agreement of August 24, 1918.6 The following is the consensus of opinion of the treaty officials, in which I concur:

  • Law on survey.—No objection.
  • Law on railroads and tramways.—Engineer in Chief Public Works considers necessary redraft entire law which will require considerable time. Meantime the law to be suspended.
  • Law on mines and mining.—Engineer in Chief Public Works considers law inadequate. Utterly impossible to prepare satisfactory mining law for Haiti wihout extended investigation which will occupy month[s]. Meantime law suspended.
  • Laws on primary school teachers and manual training.—Objected to at the time by Financial Adviser for budgetary reasons. Suggest that these laws be referred to Mr. McIlhenny.
  • Law on ownership of real property by resident foreigners.—Objected to in toto, being an interpretation of the Constitution and contrary to the spirit and the letter thereof. Would discourage investments foreign capital which is absolutely indispensable to prosperity of Haiti. Must be repealed.

In the light of past experience consider indirectly [imperative?] article 5 of the Constitution7 [be] amended to give foreign residents, associations and corporations same rights as Haitians to ownership of real property, this right to end within 5 years after cessation of residence and of active operations by corporations or associations.

Copies of these laws annexed to my [despatch?] above mentioned. Full report will be mailed.8

  1. Not found in Department files; see the Minister’s telegram no. 53, Aug. 20, 1920, 11 a.m., ibid., p. 776.
  2. Ibid., p. 813.
  3. Ibid., 1919, vol. ii, p. 309.
  4. Ibid., 1918, p. 487.
  5. Not printed.