The Secretary of State to the Minister in Haiti ( Munro )
18. Your 22, March 20, noon. The Department feels that when you have its full views on the Haitianization program they will be found not to differ very materially from yours, except with regard to the advisability of entering into a new Convention. It is the Department’s view that in order to make the program effective it should have legislative sanction both in Haiti and in the United States. The term of office of the present Government of Haiti expires before the Convention of 1915 expires and considerably before the retirement of all the outstanding Haitian bonds. The question will have to be faced sooner or later and the Department therefore feels that now is the best time to meet the issue squarely and settle it once and for all. In this thought the Department is transmitting to you herewith the telegram which it had drafted and had under consideration for some days. It was the Department’s intention, in view of the letters exchanged between the National City Bank and Secretary Hughes in 1921 and 1922, in which the latter made rather categoric statements concerning the carrying out of the Treaty of 1915, to advise officials of that Bank of its proposed action before telling you definitely to go ahead. The Department has not yet advised the bankers and will not do so until it hears further from you. You are therefore to understand that the instruction quoted below is sent to you for your comment and suggestion but not for action until you receive further instructions to that effect. If you consider it advisable the Department will order you and the Financial Adviser to Washington by air plane to discuss this matter. The Department, however, does not want you to leave Haiti while Senator King is there or at least until you have received him and given him assistance in getting in touch with the situation. The proposed instructions are as follows:
Department desires you to say to the Haitian Government that it has been giving most careful thought and consideration to the whole [Page 432] Haitian problem. While it has noted with satisfaction the steps which have been taken toward Haitianization of the Treaty Services, it feels that the time has come when a definite concrete proposal along this line should be made to the Haitian authorities. The Department has been glad to learn that in its note of January 14, 1931,23 the Haitian Government stated its disposition to negotiate with you before the expiration of the Treaty of September 16, 1915, a special accord on the basis of the Protocol of 1919. The Department feels that the negotiation of such a special accord by means of a Convention is an essential step in the readjustment of Haitian-American relations.
In part the provisions of the existing Treaty are confined to the interests of the two Governments and can be modified by them, but in part the provisions have been made to protect the interests of third parties who have become creditors of Haiti on the faith of these provisions of the Treaty and the faith of the United States has been pledged as to the performance of these stipulations. Therefore, the Department could not agree to modifications of the last mentioned provisions of the existing Treaty until all the bonds issued in reliance on the safeguards provided in that Treaty are retired.
Nevertheless, the Department is willing to enter into a convention providing for extensive concessions in regard to the non-financial Treaty Services. But this can only be done if it is made perfectly clear at the same time that the fiduciary obligations of the United States towards the beneficiaries of the bonds are not impaired. Therefore, the proposed convention must also contain a recognition and reaffirmation by Haiti of the effective control by the Financial Adviser-General Receiver over the financial service, such control to continue so long as any of the present bonds are outstanding.
In order to expedite the Haitianization program we are submitting a plan which turns back to the Haitian Government as rapidly as possible the non-financial services, excluding the Garde. This plan can be put into effect as soon as the proposed Convention is adopted and ratified by the Haitian Government, thus avoiding any delay which might otherwise be caused by the fact that the American Senate is not in session.
The position of this Government is that so far and so long as it remains under responsibility for the security of any of these bondholders it must have control sufficient to discharge effectively this responsibility and it must therefore insist upon the observance of the present Treaty until modified by such a new Convention.
The Department feels that difficulties will be cleared away in having the Haitian Government understand our program if the bases of our policy and our limitations are made clear from the beginning. [Page 433] This Government is limited, as stated above, in what it can accord to the Haitian Government on account of the interests of third parties who have become creditors of Haiti. With respect to this, no concessions can be made; in fact, it is necessary to provide in the new Convention for the effective continuance of the financial control during the life of the outstanding bonds as contemplated by the Protocol of 1919 and the law of June 26, 1922. On the other hand, however, this Government would be prepared to turn back as rapidly as possible and almost immediately the other Treaty Services with the exception of the constabulary.
Please inform the Haitian Government that upon the approval by the Haitian Legislative Assembly, which the Department understands meets on April 6 next, of the Convention quoted below, the Department will be ready, without awaiting action thereon by the Senate of the United States, to put into immediate effect the following program of Haitianization:
The Financial Adviser-General Receiver’s Office: The Department is willing in this connection to separate the Land Title Office from the Financial Adviser’s control and also to turn over to Haitian control the collection of the internal revenues. This concession would be possible only upon the putting into operation of the new Convention, by which the Haitian Government will agree not to issue any more of the $40,000,000 bonds authorized in the Protocol of 1919, so that the proportionate value of the revenues pledged to the outstanding bonds shall not be diminished. The Department notes that in its communication of January 14, last, the Haitian Government stated that it has always held that it is the prerogative of the President of the Republic to nominate and to commission customs personnel. In this connection, attention is called to the provision of Article II of the Treaty of September 16, 1915, which clearly states that “the President of Haiti shall appoint, upon nomination by the President of the United States, a General Receiver and such aids and employees as may be necessary, who shall collect, receive and apply all customs duties on imports and exports accruing at the several custom houses and ports of entry of the Republic of Haiti”. The Department therefore must insist upon the observance of this Treaty provision and that all aids and employees of the General Receiver shall be appointed upon nomination by the President of the United States.
You will please call the attention of the Haitian authorities to the second paragraph of the Preamble of the Treaty, to Articles I and XIII thereof, and to the third paragraph of the Additional Act of March 28, 1917, which states that the United States and Haiti “have decided to conclude an additional act to this Convention, with a view [Page 434] to facilitating a prompt realization of the loan and to offer to the capitalist the serious guarantee which they claim of an uninterrupted stability indispensable to the development of the wealth of the Republic of Haiti”. The Department would be well founded in maintaining, should that be its desire, that these provisions require it to insist upon the integral maintenance of the Treaty Services in order to maintain uninterrupted stability indispensable to the development of the wealth of the Republic of Haiti, which was one of the conditions on which, in a time of great financial difficulty for Haiti, the capitalists of this country loaned them the money indispensable for the reorganization of Haiti’s finances and the founding of its present economic stability and progress.
The Department, however, is animated by the sincere desire to help Haiti obtain its desire for greater control of its own Governmental operations and to this end is willing to turn over many of these functions to the Haitian authorities. The good faith of Haiti and of the United States to third parties will not permit, however, any change in the Customs Receivership.
The Guard: Articles V and X of the Treaty of 1915 obligate Haiti to maintain a constabulary organized and officered by Americans, these officers to be replaced by Haitians as the latter are found by examination, conducted under direction of a board selected by the senior American officer of the constabulary, to be qualified to assume such duties. The determination of the Haitianization of the Guard must therefore be left to the discretion of the American authorities. The Department understands that the schedule of Haitianization set forth in your note of January 23, 193124 to the Haitian Government represents the considered views of the American military authorities in Haiti. The Department is therefore willing to accept this scheme of Haitianization which should be most gratifying to the Haitian authorities as it represents a more rapid Haitianization than was recommended even by the President’s Commission to Haiti a year ago.
Public Health: The Department will be willing to have the whole public health service, outside of Port au Prince and Cape Haitien, turned over at once to the Haitian authorities. The American Director General of this service will therefore have complete chargé of all sanitation matters in the two cities mentioned. The Haitian Co-Director would have exclusive authority outside of those two districts. Of course, he might, if he desired, ask the American Director General for suggestions and help which the American Director would be glad to give, but only upon request. You will point out to the Haitian authorities that in tropical countries one of the essentials is sanitation and public health, and that while the American Treaty Officials [Page 435] and others, and its Marine forces remain in the cities mentioned, it is essential for their protection that the sanitation of those districts be under American direction. The Department is perfectly willing that Haitians should endeavor to carry out the sanitation of the rest of the Republic.
Public Works: The Department is willing, in accordance with the recommendation made in your telegram No. 9 of February 7, 11 a.m. to turn over the whole public works service to the Haitian authorities. If the Haitian authorities desire to enter into contract with two or three American civilians for technical assistance, the Department would of course have no objection but would want this to be a private contract between the individuals in question and the Haitian authorities, a contract for which this Department would assume no responsibility.
Service Technique: The Department notes that the Haitian Government approves the principle of the division of the Service Technique into two distinct branches. One branch would comprise urban and rural primary instruction and professional instruction, and the other branch, agricultural and experimental stations. The Department is willing that the first section, namely the educational branch, should be turned over immediately to Haitian direction, the American teachers already engaged in Haiti of course being retained or else paid their salaries through the present scholastic year. The Central School at Damien would of course be included in the section turned over to the Haitians.
Mr. Colvin to be appointed without delay Director General of the agricultural and experimental stations with salary as of July 1, 1930. On January 1, 1932 this service would also be turned over completely to the Haitians. If the Haitian Government desires to retain American civilians under private contract as experts in agricultural matters, this is of course a matter for them to determine.
The above scheme is an integral whole with the new Treaty and will be put into effect immediately by this Department as soon as the new Convention is approved by the Haitian legislative body and Mr. Colvin has been appointed.
The Department requests your opinion as to whether it would be desirable either by adding a clause to the proposed treaty or by a separate agreement to provide that a portion of the present surplus in the Treasury of the Haitian Government be applied to the reduction of the existing bonded debt.
You will of course understand that the Haitianization program set out above represents what the Department is eventually willing to come to. The Department feels that you should not tell the Haitians immediately the full amount that the Department is willing to concede [Page 436] but should reserve certain points for concession in the negotiations as, for instance, the giving up of the collection of the internal revenues.
A strong point in favor of the cancellation of the remainder of the $40,000,000 bonds proposed by the Protocol of 1919 is that any bonds hereafter to be issued would have to be 30 year bonds under the Protocol and their issuance would necessarily prolong the financial control.
The draft Convention is as follows:
“Preamble. The United States and the Republic of Haiti desiring to confirm and strengthen the amity existing between them by the most cordial cooperation in measures for their common advantage;
And the Republic of Haiti desiring to maintain the present sound condition of its revenues and finances, and to maintain the tranquillity of the Republic, and to this end to reaffirm the effective control by the Financial Adviser-General Receiver over the financial services so long as any of the bonds are outstanding, in order adequately to protect the interests of third parties who have become creditors of Haiti on the faith of the provisions of the Treaty signed at Port au Prince on September 16, 1915, and of the Protocol for the Establishment of a Claims Commission signed at Port au Prince on October 3, 1919;
And the United States being in full sympathy with all of these aims and objects and desiring to contribute in all proper ways to their accomplishment, as well as to promote harmonious relations between the United States and Haiti by relinquishing control over the nonfinancial treaty services, except the constabulary;
The United States and the Republic of Haiti have resolved to conclude a Convention with these objects in view to take the place of the Treaty signed at Port au Prince on September 16, 1915, and have appointed for that purpose, Plenipotentiaries,
The President of the United States, (blank)
And the President of the Republic of Haiti, (blank) who, having exhibited to each other their respective powers, which are seen to be full in good and true form, have agreed as follows:
The Government of the United States will, by its good offices, aid the Haitian Government in the maintenance of the finances of Haiti on a firm and solid basis. To this end it is agreed by the High Contracting Parties that no further issues of the national loan of $40,000,000 gold authorized in the Protocol for the Establishment of a Claims Commission, signed at Port au Prince October 3, 1919, shall be issued.
Same as Convention of 1915 with addition of the following sentence: It is agreed that the offices of General Receiver and Financial Adviser will be occupied by the same individual.
Same as Convention of 1915.[Page 437]
Same as Convention of 1915 omitting the words ‘upon the appointment of the Financial Adviser’.
Same as Convention of 1915.
Same as Convention of 1915.
Same as Convention of 1915.
Same as Convention of 1915 but add following paragraph:
It is further agreed by the two High Contracting Parties that until all the outstanding bonds issued under the provisions of the Protocol for the Establishment of a Claims Commission, signed at Port au Prince on October 3, 1919, shall have been retired, no bills appropriating money beyond the amount set forth in the budget approved by the Financial Adviser shall be enacted into law except upon agreement between the two Governments.
Same as Convention of 1915.
Same as Convention of 1915.
Same as Convention of 1915.
Same as Article XIV of Convention of 1915.
Same as Article XV of Convention of 1915.
All acts of the Government of the United States during the presence of its military forces in Haiti are ratified and validated.
No Haitian can be subject to civil or criminal prosecution for any act executed by virtue of the orders of the representatives of the United States or under their authority.[Page 438]
The acts of the courts martial of the military forces of the United States will not be subject to revision, without however abridging the right of pardon.
The present Treaty shall remain in full force and virtue only until all the outstanding bonds issued under the provisions of the Protocol for the Establishment of a Claims Commission, signed at Port au Prince on October 3, 1919, shall have been retired.
Upon the coming into force of this Convention the Treaty signed at Port au Prince September 16, 1915, shall cease and determine.
In faith whereof, the respective Plenipotentiaries have signed the present Convention in duplicate, in the English and French languages, and have thereunto affixed their seals.
Done at (blank), the (blank) day of (blank) in the year of our Lord one thousand nine hundred and thirty-one.”