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The Chargé in Haiti (McGurk) to the Secretary of State

120. After a conference this morning with the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Minister of Finance, it was agreed that the Minister [Page 530]of Finance would send Mr. Pixley the following letter which he has now received.

“It is understood, following our conference this morning, that the estimates of receipts for the fiscal year 1931–1932, place us under obligation to balance the budget at the figure of 32,000,000 gourdes, which will be brought up to that figure by means of Treasury reserve.

Consequently, the douzième for October should be 2,666,666 gourdes, 66 centime, according to the decision of the Council of the Secretaries of State.

However, while awaiting the few days necessary to make the detailed compressions [computations?] to establish a douzième on this basis I offer no restriction provisionally to making urgent payments on the basis of the project which you have submitted to me for the month of October.”

The Minister of Foreign Affairs states that it is impossible to promulgate again the above-named budgetary laws to include any modification of them but the Government will give in writing to the Financial Adviser a statement that those provisions of the finance laws deemed inexpedient by him will not be enforced.

Pixley and I believe that the Government cannot by decree change the laws as promulgated but they can interpret them to make [them?] meet most of the objections of the Financial Adviser and can state that those provisions contrary to the treaty are of no effect and agree to obtain from the Legislature at its next session modification of those objectionable articles affecting the accounting procedure.

The Government desires to publish during the next few days the douzième mentioned above and I see no objection to the Government doing so as they have agreed to balance the budget at 32,000,000 gourdes and to give in writing to the Financial Adviser the statement that objectionable parts of the finance laws will not be effective.

In view of the Government’s agreement to balance the budget at 32,000,000 I recommend that they be permitted to work on a douzième of one-twelfth that amount for the month of October, which they greatly desire to do in order to save the Government political embarrassment and in the meantime they will work on the emergency douzième of 2,570,000 provided by Mr. Pixley. Mr. Pixley is in accord with the foregoing.

McGurk