The Secretary of State to the Chargé in Haiti ( Dunn )
62. For General Russell.
Your 69, May 15, 1 p.m. Protocol establishing Claims Commission was made as stated therein for purpose among others of “giving effect to Article XII” of Treaty of 1915 which article sets forth agreement of Haiti to settlement by arbitration of all pending pecuniary claims. It is stated in Article 1 of Protocol to be understanding of signatory powers that protocol does not in fact or by implication extend provisions of treaty.
It seems obvious that definition of jurisdiction of Commission under Article 3 of Protocol to include examination of all pecuniary claims against Haiti must be read in connection with Article 1 of Protocol and that Protocol must be regarded as declaratory of and not independent of treaty. It follows then that the term “all pecuniary claims” in Article 3 of Protocol must relate back to provision in Article XII of Treaty for settlement of all pending pecuniary claims and that therefore jurisdiction of Commission is limited to claims pending when treaty came into effect, which is stated by Article XVI thereof to be day of exchange of ratifications. Contrary interpretation extending jurisdiction of Commission to embrace claims arising subsequent to May 3, 1916 would violate Article 1 of Protocol by enlarging provisions of Article XII of Treaty.
Inform Haitian Government of foregoing and state that extension of time to give Commission jurisdiction over claims arising after May 3, 1916 could only be arrived at by separate agreement between two governments, conclusion of which might well delay work of Commission and therefore would not be approved by this Government.
Express the hope that the Haitian Government will be able to concur in above view.