838.5045/1: Telegram

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

89. Strike has rapidly spread throughout the country and all ports are involved. The situation has become serious and the progress and business of Haiti may be greatly affected. Many Haitian politicians and business men are aligning themselves on the side of the strikers. Strong efforts are being made to induce all treaty departments to strike. Highly probable that some will join strikers in a few days. Loyalty of the garde very questionable. Any untoward incident might bring on a very serious situation with bloodshed and loss of life. Many treaty officials with their families are stationed at ports or remote sections relying entirely on the protection of the garde. With the present greatly reduced strength of the marine brigade it will be impossible to protect all of them in the event of disloyalty of the garde.

An increase of the strength of the brigade would permit such and the moral effect would most probably prevent disloyalty of the garde and prevent bloodshed for which some of the hotter headed Haitians are obviously desirous.

It is therefore recommended that the strength of the brigade be immediately increased by 500 until after the inauguration of the new President in 1930.