838.51/2295: Telegram

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

87. The Minister for Foreign Affairs told me yesterday that it would be absolutely impossible for the Government to withdraw the budget from Congress. When I expressed my astonishment in view of his statement reported in my number 82 of July 21st he said that if I continued to insist on a withdrawal the Government could only cease the efforts which it was now making to adjust the matter and let the United States take whatever action it saw fit. He said that Bellegarde53 had explained the situation to the Department and that [Page 514] the Department had apparently understood how impossible a withdrawal of the budget would be.

He said, however, that he was working with the committees in Congress to find a solution which would make it possible to “neutralize” the budget as submitted with a view to making it possible to arrange for a budget which could be drawn up with the accord of the Financial Adviser. He apparently has in mind obtaining a grant of power which would authorize the President to make changes in the budget after enactment. He promised to have a definite statement for me by Wednesday.

I expressed my skepticism about his reaching any arrangement on this basis which would be satisfactory to us but said that I would give him a chance to do so and would continue the Haitianization discussions in the meantime and also authorize the Financial Adviser to continue discussion of the budget with the Minister of Finance.

The Haitian Government’s conduct in this matter has of course been indefensible and I have no doubt that it will continue to attempt to evade its obligation to accept the views of the Financial Adviser regarding the budget. We should be fully justified in refusing to conclude the Haitianization agreement until the matter was satisfactorily adjusted. I think however that it would be preferable to treat the two matters separately if possible, because of the Department’s interest in concluding the Haitianization negotiations and because we shall be in a better position after these negotiations are out of the way to take a strong stand on the budget. We can very properly refuse to recognize or permit payments under a budget promulgated without the Financial Adviser’s accord and a conflict on such an issue would involve less danger of disorders here and embarrassment to the Department elsewhere than a conflict involving the whole question of Haitianization.

  1. Dantès Bellegarde, Haitian Minister at Washington.