838.00/2973: Telegram

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

44. Yesterday morning the Minister for Foreign Affairs said that he will be ready to resume the Haitianization discussions next week. He suggested that it would be desirable to put into execution at once those [Page 470] measures of Haitianization upon which I had already tentatively agreed with his predecessor. I replied that the only obstacle to such action was the question of Colvin’s appointment; that if this could be settled at once I should be prepared to inaugurate an extensive program of Haitianization without waiting for a final accord on other details. The Minister pretended to be surprised to learn that the Government of the United States still insisted upon Colvin’s appointment. He asserted that he had not been informed that the question was still alive and said that if the Government of the United States intended to make Colvin’s appointment a condition precedent to Haitianization he would have to consult with the other members of the Cabinet to determine whether they would assume the responsibility for conducting the Haitianization negotiations or whether it would be necessary for them to resign. I urged him to do so as soon as possible pointing out that the settlement of this question was the one obstacle to the immediate adoption of an extensive program of Haitianization.

[Paraphrase.] I doubt statement of Minister for Foreign Affairs that he was not fully informed about the Colvin matter. I think the Minister’s threat to resign is probably a bluff. On the other hand it is very probable that he thinks we will recede from our position rather than face a sensational conflict with the Government of Haiti or a complete breakdown in the Haitianization negotiations. Since it is clear that all political leaders at present are now much more interested in purely internal political questions than they are in the Haitianization question it is also possible that the new Cabinet would not be unwilling to precipitate a conflict with the United States for internal political purposes.

Having no instructions to the contrary I shall maintain my position that there can be no agreement regarding the Haitianization question until the Colvin question is settled. I intend to inform the Minister that the Government of the United States desires to settle the Haitianization question as soon as possible; that we are dissatisfied with the long delay; and that since Haitianization by agreement with the Government of Haiti will depend on that Government’s action regarding the Colvin question, I believe it useless to discuss further the minor details of Haitianization until we know definitely where we stand on the Colvin matter.

If our efforts to reach an agreement with the Government of Haiti should break down, it would probably be advisable for us to inaugurate rather extensive measures of Haitianization in those services from which the United States desires to withdraw at an early date. In view of the present political situation this may be the only way in which we can accomplish anything. [End paraphrase.]