838.51/2343: Telegram

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

121. Pixley and I spent 5 hours yesterday afternoon discussing the budget with the Minister of Finance and the Minister of Foreign Affairs. Mr. Pixley pointed out where the Government could very easily cut the budget from 115,000 gourdes which would bring their total to 32,680,000. We could also make an additional cut of possibly 175,000 gourdes in the Garde and show them a 50,000 cut in the Public Works which would bring their total down further to 32,455,000.

Since the Haitian Government has been demanding a 3½ percent cut in all services I have concluded that the Garde cut of 175,000 mentioned above would represent a 3 percent cut for the Garde, that Mr. Pixley cannot further reduce the Financial Service in view of the reduced receipts as set forth in the Legation’s telegram No. 84, July 23, 1 p.m.,64 and that the budget of approximately 15,428,000 for the strictly Haitian services could be cut a further 3 percent or approximately 460,000 gourdes which would bring the budget down [to] 32,000,000 gourdes.

I have accordingly urged this upon the Haitian Government in the conference yesterday and I shall continue to urge it, though for the time being I do not believe that the Haitian Government will accept it, but I do not [sic] believe that once they realize our determination to adhere to the emergency budget proposed by Mr. Pixley, which will of course preclude the payment of the allowances to the Senators and Deputies, the Government will realize the serious embarrassment which this will cause them and that they will eventually make the necessary reductions.

I have repeatedly urged upon the Minister in the most serious manner the necessity for modification of the finance laws to conform to the objections of the Financial Adviser. He tells me that the Government would not dare publish anything which would inform public opinion of its action in this respect and thereby seriously hamper the Government in the coming elections in January. He has however told me repeatedly that the Government would give in writing its assurances that the objectionable parts of the laws would not be [Page 532]enforced. He has repeatedly stated that “the Government would close their eyes on them.” Regarding the preamble to the laws the Minister states that they were inserted by the ultra Nationalistic Congress codified with previous resolutions they had passed on the same subject and that it was understood that the Haitian Government paid no attention to them. I stated that my instructions were that the Haitian Government would have to make some statement to that effect.

We have endeavored to carry on the negotiations in a most conciliatory manner and shall continue to do so. Mr. Pixley has been exceptionally helpful by his tact and resourcefulness and I still have hope that we can persuade the Haitian Government to accept our point of view and recommendations without an open breach.

McGurk
  1. Telegram in two sections.
  2. Not printed.