The British Ambassador (Howard) to the Secretary of State

No. 191

Sir: I have the honour to refer to Sir Auckland Geddes’ note No. 295 of May 12th, 1920,27 and to previous correspondence regarding the Haitian Claims Commission and to inform you that His Majesty’s Representative at Port au Prince has lately been instructed to present to the Haitian Government the claims of Mr. Barry, Mr. Pickering and Mrs. Basden, which His Majesty’s Government regret their inability to consider as satisfactorily settled by the Claims Commission. These cases, with the details of which you are doubtless familiar, were for losses inflicted by Guillaume Sam in his successful revolt against General Devilmar Theodore and were disallowed by the Claims Commission not on the facts, which apparently were not in dispute, but on the ground that Governments are not responsible for the acts of successful [Page 85] revolutionists, a doctrine with which His Majesty’s Government are unable to agree.

You will recollect from Sir Auckland Geddes’ note abovementioned that when the Haitian Claims Commission was created His Majesty’s Government reserved the right to present claims through the diplomatic channel if they were not satisfied with the awards of the Commission. In these circumstances, I am confident that the United States Government will take no action to deter the Haitian Government from recognising the three claims abovementioned. In order to avoid any possible misunderstanding, however, I should be grateful to receive at your convenience an assurance to this effect for communication to Sir Austen Chamberlain.

I have [etc.]

Esme Howard