838.5045/10: Telegram

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

95. The situation this morning was: At Aux Cayes, the demonstrations by planes resulting [resulted] yesterday afternoon in calming the people and with the arrival of the detachment of marines at 10 o’clock last night the situation quickly cleared up. The American women and children who had taken refuge in the garde compound on the edge of the town returned to their homes and order was immediately restored. The telephone line between Port-au-Prince and Aux Cayes which had been cut near Aux Cayes is now in operation. The effect of the measures taken by me has spread throughout the country and conditions are stabilizing. The Public Works Service which was scheduled to strike yesterday decided not to strike, and, since law and order at Port-au-Prince has been established, men are applying in excess of positions at the customhouse which will function normally today. It was maintained open yesterday with 10 loyal employees and American volunteers. Yesterday a telegram from the United Press was received from Washington by the local press here informing it of the Department’s congratulatory letter to President Borno17 and a number of newspapers of Port-au-Prince immediately issued notices quoting the telegram. The receipt of this information in Haiti has had an excellent effect in assisting in quieting the politicians who, I shortly expect, will begin fighting among themselves instead of uniting as they are at the present time.

Members of the local press yesterday stated that they had no feeling or complaint against the United States forces and furthermore that they realized that one thing had led to another and the strike had rapidly developed a situation the gravity of which had not been foreseen.

In view of the present condition and the placing of the Galveston at my disposal I feel that an increase of strength of the brigade is not necessary for the present.

It is my intention to have the marines withdrawn from Aux Cayes immediately conditions are stabilized, and I have instructed the brigade commander accordingly.

The Department may feel assured that I will make every effort to maintain order and return as rapidly as conditions permit to the state which has existed during the past seven years.

  1. See telegram No. 58, December 2, 1929, 7 p.m., to the High Commissioner in Haiti, p. 174.