The Secretary of State to the Minister in Haiti (Munro), Temporarily in the United States

No. 205

Sir: The Department’s instruction No. 204 of June 27, 1932 advised you that you could notify the Haitian Government that you were authorized to discuss the negotiation of an agreement for the administration of Haiti’s finances after 1936, and also an agreement providing for the further Haitianization of the Garde, but that the Government of the United States does not desire to enter into any agreement regarding the Haitianization of the Garde unless the new agreement regarding the financial control can be signed either previously or at the same time.

With specific reference to the question of Haitianization of the Garde the Department has given careful consideration to the proposal put forward by the Haitian Government as transmitted with your despatch No. 381 of April 21, 1932, and to the comments and recommendations you make in that despatch. There is appended hereto a draft agreement with respect to this question which follows in general the lines of the Haitian proposal as modified by the recommendations made in your despatch. The Department would be prepared to approve an agreement in substantially these terms. In negotiating this agreement you are authorized to reject without further consultation with the Department any proposals of the Haitian Government which are obviously unacceptable in the light of the Department’s views as set forth in this instruction and the enclosed draft agreement, and you are also authorized to accept such changes in the wording of specific articles as are consistent with the provisions of this instruction and the enclosed draft agreement.

The Department has noted your view that it would be desirable to accede to the Haitian Government’s request for a Military Mission if a satisfactory agreement to this end can be worked out, and that such a Mission with proper personnel and adequate powers offers the most practicable plan for preserving to Haiti at least a part of the benefits realized from the American Occupation and of consequently diminishing the danger that the Republic may revert to a situation where another intervention could not be avoided. The Department has also taken note of your opinion that while postponing the withdrawal of American officers from the Garde until the end of 1935 instead of the end of 1934 would provide one additional year of training under American direction, nevertheless the advantages derived from this training would be very much more than offset by the advantages [Page 658] which could be derived from the Military Mission. While we of course have no mandate nor desire to continue indefinitely to exercise any control in regard to Haitian affairs, nevertheless we are obviously interested in seeing that Haiti does not relapse into a condition of prolonged disorder and anarchy which might make inevitable a further intervention on our part. Any assistance, therefore, which we can lawfully and appropriately render to Haiti, in accord with the Haitian Government, to enable that country to maintain stability and order, would seem amply justified and in accordance with our own best interests. With this in view, the Department will be prepared to accede to the request of the Haitian Government to provide a Military Mission, subject to satisfactory assurances that the Haitian Government will grant the Mission adequate powers to fulfill the objectives for which it is designated. It should of course be definitely understood that the Military Mission will be designated by the President of the United States. With respect to the powers to be granted the Mission, the Department agrees with your view that the essential elements involved in the question of the Mission’s authority and influence pertain more to the tact and ability of the officers selected, as well as to the facts that its services will be needed in Haiti and that the Haitian authorities will be aware that the Mission will be withdrawn in case its recommendations are disregarded rather than to any formal grant of powers. It is clear, however, as you state in your despatch that the Mission should be granted sufficient authority to enable it in practice to control all phases of the administration of the Garde, and the Department agrees with the detailed recommendations in this respect set forth in the three numbered paragraphs on page 9 of your despatch. If the Haitian Government should not desire to include in the published agreement a definite statement as to the appointments and functions of the Mission the Department feels it essential that this should be detailed in writing, as you suggest, in an exchange of notes or supplementary agreement at the time when the agreement regarding Haitianization is signed.

With regard to the withdrawal of the Marine Brigade the Department feels that this should not take place at least until the complete Haitianization of the Garde has been effected. The Department also feels that the American Scientific Mission should not be withdrawn until such time as the Marine Brigade leaves Haiti.

The Department agrees with you that Article IX of the Haitian draft proposal need not be taken seriously and should be eliminated in its entirety from any agreement that is reached. The Department will request from the Navy Department information regarding the [Page 659] destruction of military supplies in the early days of the intervention, and will advise you on this point. The Department will also consult with the Navy Department with respect to your recommendation that the Marine Corps rifles now used by the Garde should be turned over to the Garde as an act of friendship on our part, and will advise you later in this regard.

With respect to the request of the Haitian Government in Article X of its draft proposal, the Department agrees with your view that this article should be omitted from the Agreement, but that it should be pointed out to the Haitian Government that purchases of arms and ammunition after the withdrawal of American officers from the Garde will presumably be made in consultation with the Military Mission and that they will be subject to the availability of funds.

With respect to the Haitian request that the Marine Brigade should assist in training Haitian aviators (Article XII of the Haitian proposal) the Department has noted your statement that the Brigade does not have any planes suitable for training aviators. The Department feels that it should be practicable to include in the Military Mission to be provided Haiti a military aviator and such mechanics as may be necessary for the training of Haitian Garde aviators.

The Department regards an agreement along the foregoing lines as in the nature of an executive arrangement not requiring the approval of legislative bodies.

You will, of course, keep the Department fully advised at frequent intervals of the progress of your negotiations and you will submit the final text to the Department for approval before signature.

Very truly yours,

Henry L. Stimson

Draft Agreement Concerning the Haitianization of the Garde and Withdrawal of the Marine Brigade

  • Article I—The American officers now serving with the Garde d’Haïti will be replaced as rapidly as possible by Haitian officers, in such a manner that by December 31, 1934, the Garde shall be completely commanded by Haitian officers, unless unforeseen difficulties arise in the meantime.
  • The foregoing does not prejudice the rights of the two Governments to reach at any time an agreement for the abrogation of Article X of the Treaty of September 16, 1915.
  • Article II—In order to carry out the above program intensive training will be carried on so that the promotion of Haitian officers [Page 660] will be, as of December 31, 1932 and December 31, 1933, respectively, at least that set forth in the tables annexed to this Agreement.
  • Article III—By December 31, 1934, unless unforeseen difficulties arise in the meantime, the Garde, under complete command of Haitian officers, will be turned over to a Colonel of the Garde in active service whom the President of the Republic shall designate as Commandant.
  • Article IV—In view of the desire of the Haitian Government to obtain the services of a Military Mission to complete the instruction, training and discipline of the Garde, the President of the United States agrees to designate not over . . officers and . . enlisted men to compose such a Mission. The compensation received by these officers from the Haitian Government shall be $250.00 per month in the case of the Chief of the Mission, $200.00 per month in the case of other officers, and $50.00 per month in the case of enlisted men, and the amount necessary for the payment of this compensation shall be included each year in the budget of the Garde. The Haitian Government will grant the Commission adequate powers to fulfill the objectives for which it is designated, and to this end the Mission shall have authority:
    To inspect all activities of the Garde and to make reports and recommendations to the Commandant or directly to the President of the Republic regarding measures for the improvement of training, organization, administration and discipline, regarding the capacity of officers for promotion and the conditions under which promotions are to be made, and regarding such other subjects as the Mission may consider advisable.
    To recommend, when necessary, that disciplinary measures be taken against any officer or enlisted man in the Garde.
    To make any necessary recommendations or suggestions regarding the conduct of the Ecole Militaire and to give instruction in that institution if found desirable; also from time to time to recommend the detachment of Garde officers for advanced training in that institution when that shall appear necessary either to fit the officer for the proper discharge of his duties or to enable him to qualify for promotion.
  • Article V—The Department of the South will be completely Haitianized at the latest on . . . . . , 1932; the Department of the North at the latest on December 31, 1933; and the Department of Port au Prince at the latest on December 31, 1934.
  • Article VI—The promotions to be effected during the course of the Haitianization of the Garde will be made after examinations held in the presence of the representative of the Government of Haiti in conformity with Article X of the Treaty of September 16, 1915.
  • Article VII—In the event of the execution of Article I, second [Page 661] paragraph, the stipulations of Article II, III, V and VI of the present Agreement will remain without effect.
  • Article VIII—The Marine Brigade of the United States and the American Scientific Mission established by the accord of August 5, 1931, will be withdrawn from Haitian territory as soon as may prove practicable, and in any event withdrawal will begin not later than the time when complete Haitianization of the Garde is effected.
  • Article IX—The Government of Haiti, in order to maintain the public order and peace necessary for the regular collection of the revenues pledged for the service of the bonds issued in accord with the Protocol of October 3, 1919, assumes the obligation of maintaining strict discipline in the Garde and of applying, until all of the bonds are amortized or redeemed, the present regulations. It will enact a statute which will fix the conditions of appointments, promotions and retirement in the Garde.