838.51/2469: Telegram

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

80. As soon as he assumed office, I gave the new Minister for Foreign Affairs an informal letter outlining the Department’s views regarding the proposed agreements on the financial administration and the Garde. Yesterday morning we had our first definite conversation on the subject. The Minister proposed a new treaty of friendship which would abrogate the treaty of 1915 and which would be accompanied by a protocol providing for the gradual “liquidation” of American activities like the financial services which must continue for the time being. He felt that the Government could obtain approval in this manner of an agreement providing for continued financial control whereas a new treaty taking effect only in 1936 and continuing much of the American control would be objectionable. I replied that such an arrangement when given more definite form might receive consideration by the Department but that there would be no object in even discussing such a plan unless the Haitian Government was prepared to accept the general scheme of financial control outlined in my letter. The Minister objected to certain features of our plan and especially to continued American [control of the?] customs but I told him that we could make no concessions with regard to the fundamental bases of the plan which I had laid before him and that it would be useless to discuss proposals for a less effective American financial control. [Page 662] When he inquired whether we could begin putting at least certain features of the new system into operation before 1936 if a new treaty were signed, I replied that I would be prepared to study the possibility of doing so provided that our plan of financial control was accepted.

I should like to know whether the Department perceives any objection in principle to the abrogation of the treaty of 1915 and possibly the substitution of the fiscal representative for the Financial-Adviser General-Receiver before 1936 provided that the general scheme of financial control outlined in my instructions of June 27 is accepted and provided that our other interests are safeguarded in a new agreement. I do not wish to accept such a procedure even in principle until the Haitian Government is committed to the acceptance of our views regarding the general features of the financial control but I should like to be free to explore possibility of an arrangement along the lines which the Minister has proposed.