838.00/2979: Telegram

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

53. Congress has passed, and the President has promulgated, a law giving to each Senator and Deputy an expense allowance of $100 per month retroactive to November 10, 1930. De la Rue had agreed in principle to the granting of this allowance starting from the beginning of the session on April 6th subject to the President’s promise to present [Page 479] a balanced budget but it was clearly understood that the text of the law must be submitted to him for formal accord before presentation to Congress. I had reluctantly approved this arrangement for the reasons explained in pages 6 and 7 of my despatch No. 130 dated May 23.31

The President however presented the law without further reference to de la Rue and it was passed and promulgated in the greatest haste.

I have instructed de la Rue to make no payments under the law on the ground that the project should have received the prior accord of the Legation under the agreement of 1918.32

If we did not take this stand after the President’s flagrant disregard of his agreement with the Financial Adviser regarding the procedure to be followed, it would be extremely difficult for us to maintain any financial control in the future. We shall emphasize particularly the objection to the retroactive feature of the law which is especially indefensible at the time when the Haitian treasury is facing a large deficit. Our action may create a serious situation in the Congress.

Please inform me whether the Department will approve my maintaining this position.

  1. Not printed.
  2. Agreement of August 24, 1918, Foreign Relations, 1919, vol. ii, p. 309.