The Chargé in Haiti ( Gross ) to the Secretary of State

No. 1057 (The High Commissioner’s Series)

Sir: I have the honor to refer to the Department’s cable No. 54 of July 30, 1 p.m., and the Legation’s telegram No. 89 of August 2, 8 a.m.,88 regarding the Haitian-Dominican boundary question.

The question of the Haitian-Dominican frontier was brought up as a subject for discussion between Presidents Borno and Vasquez, during the latter’s recent visit to this Capital. The conversations were friendly and indicative of a mutual desire to arrive at a solution both logical and practical. The two presidents agreed, in principle, to adopt permanently the status quo without indemnity of any kind. No definite action was taken, however.

One or two minor problems remain to be worked out. One of these is the question of frontier formalities on the trails between the Dominican towns of Banica and Restauracion. These towns are about forty miles apart by the trail usually used by the Dominicans, who find it easier to take this road which crosses a corner of Haitian territory, rather than the road which follows Dominican territory throughout. The journey over this road is approximately five miles shorter than the distance by the road which follows the Artibonite River from Banica as far as La Cruz de Cabrera. The river road is on the Dominican side of the river most of the way. The distance saved is small. On the other hand, the risk of the irritating application of rigid frontier regulations, and the risk of the abuse of the frontier regulations, if they are made lenient, is great.

There is a similar rumored frontier problem further south in the vicinity of the town of Pedernales.

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President Borno has told me that while nothing of a definite nature was decided upon, it was the opinion of the two presidents that the question of trails could be solved without difficulty and that if necessary an equivalence of land could be exchanged in order that principal trails would not cross the other’s territory. One parcel of territory which would doubtless enter into such a trade, would be that around the eastern extremity of Etang (Lake) Sumatre. It is President Borno’s desire that the frontier should pass between these two lakes so that each country should have a trail around its own lake, without crossing the other’s territory.

These adjustments appear to be desirable and satisfactory but it is possible that any talk of exchange of territory will open up a phase of the question which might delay indefinitely a solution to the whole boundary question.

I have [etc.]

C. Gross
  1. Latter not printed.