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

No. 481

Sir: Referring to the Department’s no. 350 of September 29, 192011 regarding the cooperation of the Government of the United States with that of Haiti in promoting education in Haiti, I have the honor to report that the matter was brought to the President’s attention on December 21, 1920, when I explained it in detail to His Excellency, impressing upon him its urgency.

The President expressed his satisfaction at the receipt of the communication, that he would lay the matter at once before the Cabinet, and that he hoped that he would live long enough to see the consummation of the reforms and improvements outlined.

I left with the President the Memorandum which I had translated to him, embodying the contents of the Department’s instruction above mentioned.

I have the honor to enclose herewith copy and translation of the Memorandum dated March 7, 1921, received in reply to my memorandum handed to the President, to which is annexed a letter dated March 1st 1921 from the Minister of Public Education to the Minister of Foreign Affairs,12 which explains itself.

The memorandum of March 7, was handed me by the Minister of Foreign Affairs in person, which I read in his presence. I expressed to him the regret that the reply was contrary to what I was lead [led] to hope for by His Excellency The President.

In my opinion the Haitian Laws on Education are not wanting, but what is lacking is their being put into execution.

Mr. Doret is no longer Minister of Public Education, having resigned a few days subsequent to the date of his letter to the Minister of Foreign Affairs. It is understood that Mr. Fernand Hibbert, ex-Chargé-d’affaires at Cuba, now on leave in France, is to be placed in charge of this portfolio upon his return here. It appears to me that this subject could be reopened after his installation, to the end that a technical adviser on educational matters be appointed in accordance with the method of appointment of the Treaty Officials, he to have surveillance and direction of Public Education. This, of course, would necessitate an amendment to the Treaty.

I have [etc.]

A. Bailly-Blanchard
[Page 197]

The Haitian Minister of Foreign Affairs ( Barau ) to the American Minister ( Bailly-Blanchard )


In reply to the memorandum handed on the 21st of December, 1920, by His Excellency the Minister of the United States of America to the President of the Republic, to make known, in accordance with the instructions of the Secretary of State of the United States, the fact that the Department of State was very much concerned because the system of public instruction in Haiti has failed to show any tangible improvement during the period of occupation, and that it is desirable that the Haitian Government be informed of the sincere desire of the Government of the United States that reforms be undertaken at an early date in the present system of public education, the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs in the name of the Haitian Government has the honor to reply to the suggestions of the Department of State in conformity with the observations of the Department of Public Instruction noted in a letter of which a copy is annexed to the present note and presented at the same time:

That the Haitian Government does not believe that under the convention of 1915 the United States has any other obligation in regard to education than that of lending financial assistance to the Haitian Government for the development, not the organization, of its system of public instruction, which is based upon the most modern French system of public instruction.

That the Haitian Government expresses the desire that the Financial Adviser shall not persist any longer in refusing his approval of the increase in the salaries of the members of the teaching corps and for the acquisition of the material necessary for the schools.

That the Haitian Government affirms that the absence of progress which the Department of State believes it finds in public instruction in Haiti is due rather to the lack of funds than to the lack of laws and of adequate methods, the laws and the methods which govern Haiti giving abundant results in France, from whom they are borrowed.

That the Haitian Government believes firmly that with the laws and the present methods great results may be obtained the day when, as in Santo Domingo, the budget of public instruction shall be more important than the others.

[Page 198]

The Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs in the name of the Haitian Government declares that the question of preparation of professors has been studied in all its aspects and there does not remain for the moment any new study to be made of it, and that the funds alone have been lacking up to the present to give it the solution that it merits.

That in consequence, it is not necessary that a mixed commission be formed to make new studies on this subject, and that furthermore, the organization of the National Council of the University dispenses with the creation of any other similar machinery.

The Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs has the mission of informing His Excellency the Minister of the United States of America that His Excellency the President of the Republic, profoundly moved by the desire expressed by the Department of State to give to the Haitian Government all possible assistance in order to promote public education in Haiti, regrets not being able to adhere to the idea of the formation of a mixed commission composed of three Haitian members and three American members, and so he will not ask the Government of the United States to propose for appointment by him the technical adviser in questions of education.

  1. Ante, p. 188.
  2. Not printed.
  3. File translation revised.