The Acting Secretary of State to the Chargé in Haiti ( Dunn )
103. For General Russell. Your 129, October 20, 3 p.m.
French Government has authorized Ambassador in Washington to enter into an exchange of notes with Monsieur Dejean on the basis of your six suggestions as follows:
- As proposed by you.
- Prolongation from 6 to 9 months from the date of the termination of the work of the Commission of the delay fixed for the designation of the Haitian arbitrator.
- The determination of the mode and time of payment by the Commission, and, in case of appeal, by the Arbitral Tribunal, in accordance with Article 5 of the Protocol of October 3, 1919.
- Submission to the Commission of French claims, including those presented before 1913, with the exception of the Lassalle, Barthe, Clovis, Rouzier and Gluck claims in which the Commission will limit itself to providing for the carrying out of the decisions already rendered. It is understood, as was provided in the Convention of 1913, that the claims of French protégés will be admitted on the same basis as those of French citizens; this stipulation must be inserted in the new accord.
- The expenses of the Arbitral Tribunal to be met in accordance with the Protocol of 1913 and the accompanying agreement, it being understood that the expenses of the Commission rest entirely to the charge of the Haitian Government, in accordance with Article 9 of the Protocol of October 3, 1919.
- Right of appeal to be given to the French Government and not to the French claimants, on condition that this right does not give rise to any subsequent litigation.
The French Government is very firm in refusing to accept the proposition made to the French Minister at Port-au-Prince making a distinction, as regards the right of appeal, between claims arising before and after 1913, and it also states that it is unable to consent to exclude from the arrangement the claims of Ottoman subjects, which was also proposed to the French Minister in Haiti. The French Government adds that Monsieur Delage will leave France upon the signature of the above agreement.
As you were informed in the Department’s instruction No. 5, of April 13, last, no differentiation was made, as regards the right of appeal, in the Department’s suggestions to the French Embassy on October 29, 1920, concerning the method of settling outstanding claims, between those arising prior and those arising after the signature of the French Protocol of 1913. The French Government has made some concessions in accepting the six points proposed by [Page 543] you, and their offer to conclude an agreement with the Haitian Government on the basis mentioned above appears to the Department to be a most satisfactory way of settling the matter. You will please inform President Borno of the French Government’s acceptance, as above stated, of your six points, and earnestly recommend that he conclude an agreement with the French Government on that basis at the earliest possible moment.
Last paragraph your 132, October 28, noon. You will also notice that French Government will not let Monsieur Delage start for Haiti until the agreement is signed. As it will take him 3 to 4 weeks to reach Port-au-Prince after leaving Paris, you may point out to President Borno the urgency of concluding the agreement as soon as possible. Monsieur Dejean told the Department that he understood that President Borno preferred to have the exchange of notes made in Port-au-Prince. It is not material whether it is made there or here. The Department’s only interest in the matter is to have the agreement made as soon as possible in order that the work of the Claims Commission may not be delayed any longer. The French Ambassador is authorized, however, to make the exchange of notes, and if it will expedite the conclusion of the agreement to have Monsieur Dejean authorized to sign the agreement in Washington, it would seem advantageous to do so. Please telegraph results of your conference with President Borno.