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

No. 206

Sir: I am transmitting herewith a letter addressed by the President to the President of Haiti in connection with the official celebration to be held by the Government of Haiti on August 21 next.

You are instructed to deliver the President’s letter to President Vincent in such a manner and at such opportunity as may be agreeable to the President of Haiti.

Very truly yours,

For the Secretary of State:
Sumner Welles
[Page 307]

President Franklin D. Roosevelt to President Stenio Vincent

My Dear Mr. President: I understand that August 21 next has been set aside as the day to celebrate the beginning of a new era in Haiti and as one who has worked consistently to bring about that which you will celebrate on that day I wish to be one of the first to extend to you, and through you, to the people of Haiti, my heartiest congratulations and good wishes for the future of the next oldest republic of our hemisphere.

Since my visit to Haiti in 1917, I have followed developments in your country with the greatest interest and it has been my sincere desire to see relations between our two countries placed on the friendliest possible footing. To this end, since my coming into office, the Government of the United States has sought to withdraw from all participation in Haitian internal affairs.

The Haitianization of the Garde and the withdrawal of the American Marines have been accomplished at a date earlier than was thought possible largely through the close cooperation and good will existing between the Haitian and American officers and men which has made possible rapid progress in the handing over to Haitian officers of the high commands. But the wise administration of Your Excellency, and the sense of responsibility and sincere desire of those in Haiti charged with the Executive, Legislative and Judicial functions of the Government, to see a Haiti united to meet the problems confronting all nations today, have also, I feel, been important factors in bringing about this happy solution which we all join you in celebrating.

Finally, it is my earnest hope that the plan now under consideration by the Haitian Government providing for the complete withdrawal of the Government of the United States from all participation in the administration of Haitian finance, which I feel represents the limit to which my Government can properly go, and yet remain faithful to its obligations, may prove acceptable, and that following the conclusion of a new treaty putting an end to those now in existence, we may in the future be bound only by those ties of friendship and mutual beneficial economic intercourse which should unite friendly and neighboring republics.

I have but recently returned to Washington after the conclusion of my long voyage to Hawaii, but the memory of my delightful visit to Cape Haitian and the warm and friendly reception accorded me by Your Excellency and all officials of the Haitian Government is still fresh in my mind.

I avail myself [etc.]

Franklin D. Roosevelt
[Page 308]

[For texts of additional papers concerning the withdrawal of the marine and naval forces from Haiti on August 15, 1934, see: (1) telegram of August 14, 1934, from the Minister in Haiti, (2) statement by the Secretary of State issued August 15, 1934, and (3) telegrams exchanged by President Roosevelt and President Vincent on August 15, 1934, Department of State, Press Releases, August 18, 1934, pages 103–104.]