438.00/162: Telegram

The High Commissioner in Haiti (Russell) to the Secretary of State

118. In a recent conversation with President Borno, he informed me that his Government had not entered into any written agreement with the French Government modifying arbitral-tribunal convention of 1913.

He further stated that it was his intention to resent the modification of that agreement as unjust and asked my advice.

From a study of the French-Haitian protocol of September 10th, 1913, and accompanying agreement it appears that only French claims occurring prior to that date can be presented and furthermore that the expenses of the Arbitral Commission must be borne equally by each Government. President Borno informs me that about 200 claims will be presented based on acts which occurred after the 10th September, 1913.

My opinion as follows:

That all claims antedating September 10th, 1913, must, in accordance with agreement, be submitted to the Arbitral Commission.
That all claims after September 10, 1913, must be submitted to the Claims Commission organized in accordance with the protocol of October 3rd, 1919.
That claims coming under number 2 may not be referred to Arbitral Commission.
That all expenses of the Arbitral Commission must be borne equally by Haitian and French Governments.
That if the French Government so desires and agrees to abrogate the protocol of 1913 French claims coming thereunder would be passed on by the Claims Commission appointed by the protocol of October 3rd, 1919, the French delegate being a member thereof during the decision on French claims.

[Page 539]

In view of the Department’s instruction number 5 of April 13th, 1922, the contents of which I communicated to the Haitian Government under date of May 4th, 1922, I have refrained from [attempting?] to advise along lines indicated in my opinion as a basis for agreement. An early reply requested.