The High Commissioner in Haiti ( Russell ) to the Secretary of State
[Received November 17—2:30 p.m.]
141. The French Minister to Haiti in a note to the Haitian Government brings up among other points the following: 1, that the delay of 6 months mentioned in article 4 of the protocol of 1919 be reduced as much as possible in order to permit early hearing of French claims; 2, that Claims Commission has no authority to hear and pass judgment on Haitian claims. He states that inasmuch as [by] protocol Claims Commission is not empowered to act on Haitian claims except to review the findings of the Commission appointed by the decree of November 4th, 1916,7 as mentioned in article 3 of the protocol, the delay of 6 months aforementioned should be reduced.
French Minister has transmitted to me copy of his note. He has asked for my assistance with the Department in obtaining an acceptance of his conditions but as the above points are diametrically opposed to my views and I believe to the Department’s I have merely acknowledged the receipt of his communication and informed him I would [report?] the same to my Government. French Minister has not yet informed the Haitian Government that the expenses of the Arbitral Tribunal will be borne equally by the French and Haitian Governments but still disputes the question. I [Page 551] will urge President Borno to transfer negotiations on this exchange of notes to Washington.
Copy of the French note will be forwarded by mail leaving here about the 23rd.8