The Minister in Haiti ( Munro ) to the Secretary of State

No. 51

Sir: I have the honor to report that the Haitian Government, on January 14, 1931, addressed a further note to this Legation on the subject of Haitianization, enclosing a memorandum making specific proposals which, in some cases, were somewhat more radical than those contained in M. Sannon’s earlier communication on the same subject. Translations of this note and memorandum are transmitted herewith.

The tone of this communication and the attitude which the Government had recently assumed on other questions under discussion made it seem advisable to preface any further expressions of a readiness to make concessions in Haitianization with a definite statement which would disabuse the Haitian Government of any impression that the process of Haitianization would be accompanied by a relinquishment of the authority which the American Treaty Officials now exercise over their respective departments. I, therefore, handed M. Sannon a note, copy of which is enclosed, setting forth in part the position of the United States Government as expressed in instructions [Page 407] addressed to me by the Secretary of State on October 18, 1930.12 I felt that further negotiations would be carried on in a decidedly more satisfactory atmosphere if it were clear from the start that there were definite limits to the concessions which the Government of the United States was prepared to make.

On the same day, I handed M. Sannon, informally, a tentative plan for the reorganization of the Service Technique, a copy of which is also transmitted herewith. He promised to submit the plan at once to the President and the Council of Secretaries of State but said that the Haitian Government would prefer to have a reply to all its proposals regarding Haitianization before proceeding with further negotiations. I pointed out that the Government had expressed a special desire to make arrangements which would permit the immediate opening of the schools, and said that it was for this reason that I had thought it preferable to consider the reorganization of the Service Technique first. I also pointed out that the discussing of Haitianization in all of the Treaty Services would involve a considerable delay. M. Sannon insisted, however, that the matter should be dealt with as a whole, realizing, of course, that we would probably go much farther toward meeting the Haitian Government’s desires with respect to the Service Technique than with respect to other Departments. As I did not feel that there was any real justification for insisting upon dealing with the different Services one by one, I promised to send him a reply to his note as a whole in the near future.

I am, at present, going over the question of Haitianization again in detail with each Treaty Official, and I propose, within the next few days, to send M. Sannon a formal note outlining a plan of Haitianization very similar to that described in my despatch number 21 of December 22nd,13 and answering specifically some of the new points raised in his memorandum of January 14th. I had hoped to avoid unnecessary correspondence and exchanges of notes in conducting the negotiations regarding Haitianization, but I believe that the President and the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs feel that they need a formal written statement from the Legation which they can use to convince their more radical associates that matters really are as they have described them. The Government is, unquestionably, being subjected to severe pressure from persons who feel that it has not been sufficiently energetic in formulating and pressing its demands and who accuse it of acquiescing in a policy of delay.

Respectfully yours,

Dana G. Munro
[Page 408]
[Enclosure 1—Translation]

The Haitian Minister for Foreign Affairs ( Sannon ) to the American Minister ( Munro )

Mr. Minister: Permit me to refer to the various interviews which I have had with Your Excellency since the forwarding of the Memorandum of December 2nd to the American Legation,14 interviews which leave no doubt of our common desire to reach an accord on the Haitianization of the Treaty Services. I have the honor to submit herewith a Memorandum containing concrete proposals relating to each of the Services in question.

The Government hopes that Your Excellency will examine these proposals in such a manner as to facilitate the early conclusion of the accord envisaged, and to permit it, in so far as it is concerned, to take the administrative and legislative measures necessary in the premises.

The Ministry of Foreign Relations takes this occasion again to direct the serious attention of Your Excellency to the following:

With the opening of the Congress elected by the people and exercising the constitutional right to control the financial administration of the country and to provide annually the national budget, the Secretary of State for Finance is under the strict obligation to exercise complete control over all of the Services generally, of whatever nature, under his department.

He cannot abstain, for example, from entering into the details of budgetary credits, their use and their application to public expenditure, whatever the nature of these expenditures may be. All obstacles which the authority of this High Functionary encounters in this respect can give rise to grave difficulties in his relations with the Congress. It is this officer which the Constitution and laws of the country make chiefly responsible for the management of our financial affairs. Such is not the case with the Financial Adviser, who has no responsibility vis-à-vis the Chambers.

The Government cannot meet its Constitutional obligations unless the Secretaries of State exercise in their respective departments an authority equal to their responsibilities. It is necessary and even, indispensable under these circumstances that the Treaty Officials conform to these conditions and the correct execution of the Services confided to them, and the constitutional relations of the Secretaries of State with the Chambers.

The Government desires to point out that the Financial Adviser is not the chief of the Ministry of Finance, but a “Functionary” attached to the Ministry.

[Page 409]

It is the sincere desire of this Government to remain within the limits of the Treaty until it is liquidated, but being solely responsible to the Chambers for the conduct of public affairs, it will appreciate all assistance which the American Legation will give it in order to cause the American Officials to remain within the limits of the functions assigned to them by the Treaty of September 16, 1915.

H. Pauléus Sannon


In accordance with the Memorandum of December 2, 1930,15 and the letter of the 20th of the same month,16 replying to the Honorable Dana G. Munro, the Government desiring to hasten the Haitianization of the Treaty Services, proposes the following nominations for the Public Works Service:

A Haitian engineer with the title of Assistant Engineer in Chief. The present chief engineer of the Treaty Service will continue to exercise supervision over all branches of the service and to give his assistance and technical advice to the Government for operations now in course of execution, as well as those to be undertaken, until such time as complete Haitianization has been accomplished.
Engineer Ethéart to take chargé of the Irrigation Service.
Engineer Léon Ménos as director of the Telegraph and Telephone Service.
Engineer Maignan to take chargé of the direction of Public Buildings.
Engineer Péreira to the Road service.
Engineer F. Azor to take chargé of municipal engineering service.

In the conferences which will follow, the Government will make up in proportion its proposals relative to the central office of Public Works.

Departments and Districts

While awaiting the appointment and nomination of a Haitian departmental engineer for the Department of the South, the Government wishes now to nominate the following Haitian engineers: Georges Cauvin, Salès and Charles Martin, chiefs of the districts of Jacmel, Jérémie and Cayes.

The inspectors now assigned to the departments of the North and the Artibonite-Northwest to be recalled to the Head Office in Port-au-Prince.

[Page 410]

National Public Health Service

The Government insists upon the immediate nomination of a Haitian co-director for the General Hospital, and a co-director-general for the National Public Health Service, who will have, co-jointly with the actual American directors, the administration and control of these two important services.

The Government regards these measures as a necessary step towards the Haitianization of the National Public Health Service within the time specified in the Memorandum of December 2nd.

Service Technique

The principle of the division of the Service Technique into two distinct branches having been approved, the Government proposes to appoint and nominate very shortly a Haitian director of urban and rural primary instruction and professional instruction, who will perform his duties under the direction of the Department of Public Instruction.

The other branch (agricultural and experimental stations), requiring special knowledge, can be confided to a foreign specialist, assisted by a Haitian co-director, while awaiting the training of Haitian professional men.

Central School of Damien

The intention of the Government, as has been already indicated in the Memorandum of December 2nd, is to make the Central School a genuine normal school, for the education of professors for the agricultural and industrial schools of the country.

Should it be so required, a foreign technical counsellor could be attached to the Ministry of Agriculture, whose functions would consist in aiding and counselling the Secretary of State for Agriculture in all questions of practical interest to agriculture and agricultural instruction.

The Government regards the immediate reorganization of the Damien School as the only means to insure, without loss of time, the reopening of that establishment, the return of the former students and the resumption of the courses of study.

Financial Adviser-General Receiver

office of contributions

As this service is already functioning perfectly and it may be Haitianized immediately, the Government proposes to nominate, without undue delay, the Haitian director of the Office of Contributions.

[Page 411]

customs personnel

The Haitian Government has always held that it is the prerogative of the President of the Republic to nominate and to commission Customs personnel. It has only been through regrettable circumstances that the contrary practice has prevailed up to now, because there is nothing in the Treaty of September 16, 1915, which would justify that procedure.

The fact that we are now concerned with Haitianization is a further reason for the President to reassume the right to make the personnel of the Customs service exclusively Haitian.

Assured of being in accord in this regard with the United States Legation, the Government wishes in the meantime to have with the Legation as soon as possible a complete exchange of views on this question before carrying out its intentions.

office of the financial adviser-general receiver

The Government is aware that there are many Haitian employees in the personnel of the two offices under the Financial Adviser-General Receiver.

But up to now these employees have not been nominated by the President of the Republic, as is the case, for example, with the Haitian engineers in the office of Public Works. It is, therefore, necessary that the Government commission all of the Haitian chiefs of service and employees in both offices. This is not “Haitianization”. Haitianization proper is to be understood as the replacement of American “assistants” of the Financial Adviser-General Receiver by Haitians nominated by the President of the Republic.

The Government is of the opinion that the American Legation can not be otherwise but in accord in this respect.

As has already been stated to His Excellency, Mr. Dana G. Munro, the Government is disposed to negotiate with him before the expiration of the Treaty of September 16, 1915, special accord on the basis of the Protocol of 1919.

[Enclosure 2]

The American Minister ( Munro ) to the Haitian Minister for Foreign Affairs ( Sannon )

No. 20

Excellency: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of Your Excellency’s note of January 14, 1931, with its enclosed Memorandum regarding changes in personnel recommended by the Haitian Government in the American Treaty Services.

[Page 412]

I have duly noted that portion of Your Excellency’s note which refers to the general question of the relation of the American Treaty Officials to the Haitian Government as this relation is affected by the inauguration in Haiti of a Congress elected by popular vote. I fully appreciate the fact that this change in the internal organization of the Haitian Government has from a practical viewpoint placed the Haitian Secretaries of State in a new relation to the Legislative Body. Both this Legation and the American Treaty Officials will be disposed at all times to give the most sympathetic consideration to the problems which this new relation presents. A special effort will be made to furnish promptly as heretofore all information regarding activities of the Treaty Services which may be helpful in enabling the Secretaries of State to give an account to the Legislature of the work of these Services.

To prevent any misunderstanding, however, I must point out that the installation of a popularly elected Congress has in no way affected the valid force of the Treaty of 1915 and the collateral agreements which have hitherto governed the relations between Haiti and the United States. My Government desires to discuss with the Haitian Government such changes in these arrangements and in the existing organization of the Treaty Services as it may now be proper to make with a view to the orderly and efficient transfer of the control of these Services by the date of the expiration of the Treaty; but it can enter upon these discussions only on the basis of a frank recognition of the validity of existing agreements between the two Governments. These agreements are of course binding upon the Legislative branch as well as upon the Executive branch of the Government of Haiti. So long as the Treaty continues in effect and insofar as its provisions have not been changed by mutual agreement, the Government of the United States must insist upon the full recognition of the rights and authority granted to it thereunder, for it cannot otherwise fulfill the responsibilities which it has assumed towards the Haitian Government and towards the Haitian people.

Pending the discussion of possible changes in the existing arrangements, therefore, I am instructed to say that the Government of the United States will expect that the Haitian Government will promptly appoint officials nominated by the President of the United States under the Treaty, that it will give them full authority with respect to the administration of the Services under their control, and that it will cooperate with them and with the American Legation for the fullest realization of the purposes of the Treaty. It will otherwise be extremely difficult to carry out the program of Haitianization upon which both Governments appear to be in accord in principle.

Accept [etc.]

Dana G. Munro
[Page 413]
[Enclosure 3]

The American Minister ( Munro ) to the Haitian Minister for Foreign Affairs ( Sannon )

Tentative Plan for the Haitianization of the Service Technique

Coincidentally with the formal acceptance by the Haitian Government of the appointment of Mr. Colvin as Director General of the Service Technique, with salary from July 1, 1930, the following plan for the reorganization and Haitianization of the Service Technique would be put into effect:

The position of Assistant Engineer would be abolished. In the absence of the Director General, a member of his staff designated by him would be Acting Director General.
Educational Work.
A Haitian nominated by the Director General of the Service Technique would be appointed at once as Director of Educational Work. This official would work under the direction of the Director General insofar as matters relating to the budget and to vocational education in the industrial and farm schools were concerned until October 1, 1931. Thereafter, he would report directly to the appropriate Secretary of State.
Haitian co-directors would be appointed in the Departments of Farm Schools and Industrial Schools and would be made Directors of these Departments on October 1, 1931. The present American Directors of these Departments would thereafter serve as Special Advisers under contract for two years at a salary of $5000.00 per annum. During this period they would form a part of the staff of the Director General of the Service Technique.
The new schools at Port-au-Prince would be opened at once. They would be organized as primary schools including industrial courses and two American specialists in industrial work would be retained to assist in them until not later than the end of this scholastic year (i. e. July 1931).
The other industrial schools would continue as at present during the remainder of this year. From now on they would operate under the new Director of Educational Work and the Director of Industrial Education.
Agricultural Work.
The Ecole Centrale and the school at Chatard would remain under the direction of the Director General and the Haitian co-director, but arrangements could be made to give normal school courses at the Ecole Centrale under a plan formulated by the Haitian Director of Educational Work appointed in accordance with the suggested arrangement. [Page 414] The present faculty of the Ecole Centrale would probably be adequate for this purpose. The dormitory at the Ecole Centrale would be maintained for industrial and agricultural students. The Ecole Centrale would be placed under a Haitian director in April 1931. Certain American experts would be available to advise and assist in the instruction of the students.
It is contemplated that the positions now occupied by Americans should be filled by Haitians as follows:

In 1931:— Superintendent of Damien Farm and Head of Department of Agronomy.
Supervisor of Shop Work.
Supervisor of Girls’ Education.
Director of Ecole Centrale.
In 1932:— Head of Industrial Education.
Department of Ecole Centrale.
Head of Department of Horticulture.
In 1933:— Adviser in Department of Farm Schools.
Adviser in Department of Industrial Education.
Head of Department of Entomology.
Head of Chemistry Department.
In 1934:— Superintendent of Hinche Experiment Station.
Director of Printing.
In 1935:— Head of Botany Department.
Director of Extension.
In 1936:— Director of Experiment Stations.
Executive Officer.
Director General.