438.00/230: Telegram

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

49. Claims Commission at this time is unable to state definitely probable maximum of claims but it informs me that it may run as high as six or seven million dollars.

After exchanging for interior bonds 1912, 1913 and 1914, A, B, C, there will remain about $3,053,000 series B bonds.

The Claims Commission now wishes to make awards and rules for the method of payment. Probably such rules will call for 60 or 70 percent of payments in bonds and remainder in cash thus conserving as much as possible the loan money for development work. To make such a rule now and a year or a year and a half from now find out that the series B issue was exhausted would necessitate a change in the rule and entire payment in cash thus limiting our development work or the issue of a new series of bonds series C which possibly would not have the same standing in public opinion as series B and might affect materially the work of the Claims Commission.

Therefore it has been suggested by the Financial Adviser that the series B issue, none of which has yet been printed, be increased to $8,000,000.

This amount would be ample to permit the Claims Commission to make the regulations it desires governing the method of payment.

The saving to the Haitian Government necessarily would be great as series B bonds are quoted at 70.

The increase in the series B issue would be undertaken solely to facilitate the work of the Claims Commission and on the conclusion of its awards all remaining bonds of that series would be canceled.

Legislative action would be necessary to amplify the issue. The Council of State is now in session.

The Financial Adviser informed you in his opinion the increase if any can be met by the current revenues.

I strongly recommend approval direct immediate action in order that if the Department approves I can at once take up the matter with President Borno.