838.00 Commission of Investigation/91, 139: Telegram

The Chairman of the President’s Commission (Forbes) to the Acting Secretary of State

Document No. 1.15

Mémoire relative to the plan accepted by the Federated Committee [Page 209] of Patriotic Associations.

Each arrondissement shall on or before March 20, 1930, designate a delegate, except for [the arrondissement of Port-au-Prince, which shall designate three delegates, and] the arrondissements of Cap Haitien, Cayes, Gonaives, Port de Paix, Jacmel, Jérémie, St. Marc, Leogane, and Nippes, which shall each designate two delegates—a total of thirty-eight delegates.
The representatives of the various Patriotic groups shall meet at the principal town (chef-lieu) of each arrondissement in order to proceed to the designation of delegates.
The delegates shall meet at Port-au-Prince not later than March 28, 1930, in order to form the Central Committee, which shall have as its mission the choosing of the candidate of the nation for the Presidency of the Republic. The Committee shall be presided over by the oldest member (doyen d’âge).
It is admitted and understood that the American Government is under the obligation to respect the constitutional political organization [of the Republic of Haiti. This declaration in no wise prejudices] the right of future Haitian Governments to revise the Haitian Constitution through suitable methods. All changes which may affect the contractual relations now existing between the United States and Haiti will naturally be the object of a previous negotiation between the two Governments.
The candidate chosen must be neutral in politics and must satisfy the conditions required by the Constitution. He must be acceptable both to President Borno and to the groups of the Opposition represented by their several chiefs.
The citizen chosen conformably with article 3 above must publicly and solemnly pledge himself, and this shall constitute a previous condition for his election, to call the legislative elections as soon as possible. These legislative elections must take place within a period of three months from the calling of the primary assemblies. He must likewise pledge himself to take the necessary measures to guarantee an honest election (sincérité du vote) without placing any restriction on the right of universal suffrage. He must pledge himself to call the National Assembly in extraordinary session immediately after the elections, and thereupon immediately to present his resignation as President of the Republic. He must, lastly, pledge himself not to be a candidate for the Presidency of the Republic at the new and definitive Presidential election.—Le Comite Federatif, President Rigal; L’Union Patriotique; [La Ligue des Droits de l’ Homme et du Citoyen;] La Ligue d’Action Sociale Haitienne; La Ligue Nationale d’Action Constitutionnelle; La Ligue de Defense Nationale; La Ligue de la Jeunesse Patriote; Le Parti National Travailliste; L’Union Nationaliste.

All signed by Presidents of Leagues except two who were out of town but whose signatures are guaranteed by the others.

[Page 210]

Document No. 2.

President Hoover’s Commission.

Gentlemen: Article 6 of the draft of the mémoire relative to the plan for the formation of a Provisional Government provided that the citizen who might be designated in accordance with article 3 of the said mémoire would pledge himself, among other things, to call the legislative elections “within fifteen days from his installation.”

You have preferred, in the final text, the phrase, “as soon as possible”. The Federated Committee has accepted with the understanding that that expression “as soon as possible” signifies that “the first legislative elections shall take place in the course of the same year 1930 and not in January 1932.

Kindly take note of this and acknowledge receipt thereof and accept, Gentlemen, the assurances of our distinguished sentiments.

Signed by same League[s] as mémoire.

Document No. 3.

President Hoover’s Commission.

Gentlemen: The Federated Committee states that any one of the citizens whose names follow will be acceptable both to the Haitian nation and the Federated Committee as candidate for the office of provisional president: Dr. Felix Armand, Ernest Douyon, Dr. Price Mars, Fouchard Martineau, Eugene Roy. We beg you to accept the assurances of our distinguished sentiments.

Signatures same as mémoire.

Document No. 4.

Reply to explanation [sic] letter of Comité Federatif of March 15, 1930, Document No. 2.

Mr. Rigal, President of the Federated Committee of Political Groups, Port-au-Prince. Dear Sir: The President’s Commission for the Study and Review of Conditions in the Republic of Haiti has the honor to acknowledge the receipt today of your communication accepting, on behalf of the Federated Committee of Political Groups, the plan formulated by the Commission with regard to the election of the temporary President of the Republic, etc. The Commission has also received your letter explaining the Federated Committee’s interpretation of the phrase “as soon as possible” appearing in the said plan relating to the approaching presidential election and states that it has no objection to formulate in regard to this interpretation. The President’s Commission also acknowledges the receipt of the list submitted by your Committee containing the names of five gentlemen any one of whom will be satisfactory to the Federated Committee and to the people of Haiti as the candidate for temporary President. Yours very truly, W. Cameron Forbes, Chairman.

  1. The texts of Documents 1, 2, and 3 were transmitted in French; file translations have been revised on basis of copies of texts of the documents transmitted to the Department as annexes to a confidential memorandum of the President’s Commission, dated March 26, 1930 (838.00 Commission of Investigation/132).