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

49. Since last November we have had difficulties on several occasions regarding appointments and promotions in the Garde and particularly regarding delays in commissioning American officers nominated under the treaty. These difficulties which were provoked entirely by the President were apparently finally terminated through the influence of the former Minister of Foreign Affairs.

More recently however the President has refused to commission a Haitian officer who has qualified for promotion but whom the President accuses of having made disrespectful remarks regarding him. His objection to the officer is apparently solely political. I have been endeavoring to persuade him that promotions in the Garde must be made on a merit basis and in accordance with the treaty and that he should cooperate in a full investigation of the charges against the officer referred to and then accept the result of the investigation and sign the commission if the officer is proved innocent. The President has thus far refused to modify his position that he would not sign the commission under any circumstances.

Today I received a note from the Minister for Foreign Affairs expressing the Government’s reluctance to make further appointments of American officers in the Garde and stating that the Government wishes to have more control over promotions of Haitian officers in the future. In view of the fact that the Haitian Government is assuming this attitude I think that it would be well, if the Department is disposed to accept the suggested compromise in the Colvin case, to make such acceptance conditional upon the most explicit assurances that the treaty provisions governing the Garde will be respected and that American officers will be promptly commissioned upon nomination and Haitian officers will be promptly commissioned upon recommendation by the Commandant.