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

No. 59

Sir: I have the honor to transmit herewith a copy of a note which I addressed to the Minister for Foreign Affairs on February 6th, and also a copy of a note addressed to him on January 23rd, containing a tentative schedule for the promotion of Haitian officers in the Garde.17

Respectfully yours,

Dana G. Munro

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

No. 24

Excellency: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of Your Excellency’s note of January 14, 1931,18 and to say that I have given careful study to the proposals therein contained.

[Page 416]

The Government of the United States desires to replace as rapidly as practicable the Americans now serving in the Treaty Services by the Haitian citizens who have been receiving training and experience in these Services, in order that it may be possible not later than 1936 to withdraw entirely the American personnel. If this process is to be carried out in such a way as to provide for the efficient operation of the Services during the intervening period, the necessary changes in personnel must of course be made in an orderly manner, taking into consideration in each instance not only the capacity and the practical experience of the individual to be appointed, but also the desirability of avoiding the impairment of the efficiency of the Service as a working organization by too abrupt and sweeping changes. I am confident, however, that the replacement of American by Haitian personnel can be effected with a maximum of efficiency and rapidity if the two Governments work in harmony toward this end.

I have already advised Your Excellency informally of the measures of Haitianization which my Government is prepared to adopt in the near future if a satisfactory accord on points under discussion between the two Governments can be reached. In my personal letter of December 20, 1930,19 I discussed the matter in some detail. On January 21, 1931, I handed Your Excellency an informal Memorandum regarding the Service Technique,20 the contents of which I hereby confirm, and on January 23, 1931, I transmitted a plan which this Legation would be prepared to put into execution for the promotion of Haitian officers in the Garde d’Haiti.21

With regard to the other matters discussed in Your Excellency’s note and memorandum of January 14th., I have the honor to reply as follows:

The Public Works Service

Your Excellency proposes the immediate appointment of a Haitian engineer as Assistant Engineer in Chief. M. Jeannot is now acting as principal assistant to the Executive Officer of the Public Works Service. In this position, he is kept in direct contact with all business which is transacted and every opportunity is given to him to study and participate in the work of the Service so that he may receive training which would make him capable of assuming the entire direction of the Service upon the expiration of the Treaty. I believe that this arrangement will achieve the purpose which Your Excellency has in mind.

[Page 417]

With respect to the other proposals which Your Excellency makes regarding specific appointments, I am prepared to adopt the following program if a satisfactory accord on other points under discussion can be reached:

Engineer Ethéart to be appointed Director of Irrigation and Engineer Maignan Director of Public Buildings immediately; Engineer Ménos to be appointed Director of Telegraphs and Telephones, and Engineer Péreira, Director of Roads within one year; and a Haitian Engineer as Director of Municipal Engineering within two years. The execution of this program must of course be dependent upon the continued satisfactory performance of their present duties by the Engineers referred to during the remainder of their training.

With regard to the District Engineers, I understand that M. Cauvin is now serving in this capacity at Jacmel. M. Martin could be appointed Departmental Engineer at Aux Cayes immediately upon the conclusion of an accord on other questions. The Engineer in Chief is not prepared to appoint M. Sales immediately as District Engineer at Jérémie for reasons which have been fully explained to M. Sales himself.

With regard to the proposal that the present inspectors be recalled from the Department of the North and Artibonite Northwest, I regret to say that I cannot assume any commitment which would restrict the full liberty of the Engineer in Chief to make use of such inspectors as he may deem necessary so long as he has the responsibility for the direction and the control of the Service.

The Public Health Service

While it is essential that the American Administrator of the Haitian General Hospital should have full responsibility and authority in the management of that Institution until its complete Haitianization, the Director General of the Public Health Service is prepared immediately upon the conclusion of a general accord to appoint a Haitian Codirector to be associated with the American Director in the latter’s work, with a view to training him to take full control of the Institution upon the withdrawal of the American personnel.

With regard to the proposal that a Haitian Co-director be appointed for the National Public Health Service as a whole, I may say that Dr. Torchon is already occupying the position of Executive Officer and principal Assistant of the Director General and in this position is being given every opportunity for training in the work of directing the Service as a whole.

With further reference to this Service, I may point out that five out of the ten sanitary districts have already been placed under Haitian [Page 418] officials, and that according to present plans the district of Jacmel will be turned over during the coming year and the districts of Gonaives and Cayes during 1932 or 1933.

The Office of the Financial Adviser-General Receiver

The Government of the United States considers that any further extensive Haitianization of this Service would be inadvisable and impracticable at the present time. As I have stated in my informal letter of December 20, 1930, the situation of this office is different from that of the other Treaty Services because its major activities will continue after the expiration of the Treaty, until the amortization of the existing debt, under the provisions of the Protocol of 1919 and the loan contracts. Furthermore, in view of the world wide financial depression and the very difficult present financial situation of the Haitian Government, it is necessary to proceed with the greatest caution in taking any steps which might result in a reduction of revenue or which might make more difficult the problem of keeping expenditures within the revenue available. For these reasons, I am unable to accede to the proposal that a Haitian Director of the Bureau of Contributions be appointed at present, or to agree with Your Excellency that the time has arrived to withdraw all American personnel from the Customs Service. I take due note, however, of Your Excellency’s statement that the Haitian Government is prepared to negotiate with the Government of the United States a special accord on the basis of the Protocol of 1919, to cover the situation existing after the expiration of the Treaty, and I have the honor to suggest that the discussion of questions relating to the financial services be postponed until they can be considered in connection with these proposed negotiations. It is obviously far, more urgent to deal at the present time with the other Treaty Services from which all American personnel will presumably be withdrawn during the next five years, in order that adequate provision may be made now for the sweeping changes which it will be necessary to make during this rather short period.

In discussing the question of Haitianization as a whole, I wish to assure Your Excellency that the steps which the Government of the United States is now prepared to take or commit itself to take in the future do not represent a maximum but rather a minimum to be achieved in the process of Haitianization. The Government of the United States desires that the functions now exercised by American officials in the Treaty Services be turned over to Haitian citizens as rapidly as practicable, and it will always stand ready to expedite the process of Haitianization if the conditions existing in the Treaty Services make it seem proper and possible to proceed faster than is now contemplated.

Accept [etc.]

[File copy not signed]
  1. Note of January 23 and its enclosure not printed.
  2. Ante, p. 408.
  3. Foreign Relations, 1930, vol. iii, p. 273.
  4. Ante, p. 413.
  5. Not printed.