838.00 Commission of Investigation/76: Telegram

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

31. Referring to the declaration made by the President’s Commission,8 copy of which was forwarded to the Department on March 10th, President Borno addressed a letter9 informing me that he has no candidate, that his term ends on May 15th, and that he cannot contemplate the political plan under consideration except on the understanding that the election of his successor will be by the Council of State on April 14th next. He further states that it must be well understood that he does not give approbation of the above plan except on the formal condition that the plan will be executed in entire conformity with the Constitution and the treaty of 1915 that binds our two Governments.

I acknowledged receipt of President Borno’s letter above referred to confirming his verbal approval of the plan; and, with a view to allaying rumors, suggested to him the advisability of issuing a public statement to the effect that it is his irrevocable intention to retire from office on [Page 203] May 15, that he has no candidate to propose, and that he approves of the plan.

In this general connection I feel it to be of the utmost importance for the maintenance of American prestige in Haiti, as well as the responsibilities of Latin America, that the execution of the projected plan (1) observes strictly the provisions of the Constitution and of the treaty, and (2) that President Borno’s prestige be preserved intact to the end of his term.

  1. See press release issued by the President’s Commission on March 9, 1930, p. 200.
  2. Supra.