The Minister in Haiti (Munro) to the Secretary of State
[Received January 6.]
Sir: With reference to my telegram No. 263 of December 31st, 12 noon,59 I have the honor to transmit herewith copy and translation of an informal letter from the Haitian Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs replying to my personal letter of December 20th. which contained certain observations regarding the question of Haitianizing the Treaty Services.
The outstanding feature of Mr. Sannon’s letter is its apparent acceptance of the plan set forth in my letter of December 20th. as a basis for further negotiations. Mr. Sannon carefully leaves the Haitian Government free, so far as his letter is concerned, to ask a very much more rapid replacement of American officials than my letter had contemplated and it is of course probable that the Haitian Government will demand just as much along this line as it thinks it might be possible to obtain. It will be difficult, however, after carrying on conversations along the lines which I laid down in my letter of December 20th. for the Government to revert to some of the extreme and objectionable features of its own plan, such as the demand for complete American withdrawal from the Treaty Services in one or two years and for the immediate appointment of Haitian co-directors of the Treaty Services, who would practically take control of the Services at once. I believe that there is every indication at the present time that a satisfactory accord on the question of Haitianization can be reached. What the Haitian Government and Haitian public opinion chiefly desire appears to be some assurance that the withdrawal of American officials is actually under way and that there is no intention to impose an extension of the Treaty after 1936.
I am by no means certain that it will not be possible eventually to permit a more rapid withdrawal of Americans from the Treaty Services than our present plans contemplate. The advice given by the heads of the Services on this point is naturally influenced by a desire to maintain a maximum of efficiency in their organizations and a reluctance to handicap their Services in the performance of constructive work. It is very difficult to determine to what extent efficiency should be sacrificed in the interest of a more rapid training of the Haitian personnel. I should not recommend going beyond the plans already formulated by the Treaty Services without mature consideration of the consequences. The process of Haitianization cannot be reversed when it is once under way and any ill-considered step along this line [Page 277] might therefore do irreparable damage for which the Government of the United States could not avoid responsibility so long as the Treaty remains in effect. I intend therefore to discuss the matter with the Haitian Government for the present on the basis of the programs formulated by the Treaty officials. It may be possible to make changes in these programs on the basis of a better knowledge of conditions in Haiti and after more detailed observation of the work performed by each Service in various parts of the Republic.
As I indicated in my telegram of December 30th., No. 259, 2  p.m.,60 the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs discussed with me that portion of his letter regarding the Financial Adviser-General Receiver before actually sending the letter to me. He said that the Government fully recognized that the Protocol of 1919 and the Loan contracts would require some arrangement to safe-guard the interest of the bondholders after 1936, but that he did not think that they would require that the office of the Financial Adviser-General Receiver continue to function exactly in its present form. He thought that a special accord between the two governments on this point would be necessary. I said that I agreed with him on this point and that I had not meant to indicate in my letter of December 20th. that no change would be made in the work of the Financial Services after the expiration of the Treaty. What I had intended to bring out was the fact that since the collection and application of the pledged revenues must remain in the hands of American officials during the life of the loan, the situation of this Service was entirely different from that of the Services which would be turned over completely to Haitian control during the next six years. It was clear that a much more rapid and far-reaching program of Haitianization must be adopted in these latter Services. Neither the Minister nor I touched on the question of the control over the internal revenue, although I could see that it was in his mind. In this connection I have the honor again to request that the Department furnish me as soon as practicable with its views regarding the question whether the internal revenue must remain under American control under the terms of the Protocol and the Loan Contracts.