Memorandum by the Secretary of State

The Minister of Haiti called and stated that some of the officials in his country had represented that I had told the Haitian Delegation in Montevideo that just as soon as I returned to Washington I would take up and remove the conditions which entangled the United States Government with the Haitian Government financially and otherwise. I told the Minister that in the first place I had suggested and urged upon the Haitian Delegation that if their government would be disposed to do some new financing, so as to take up the present outstanding securities against Haiti, I and other United States officials would lend all moral support to this new financing just so we did not involve ourselves or our government. I stated that this would settle the matter and enable the United States Government to withdraw entirely from Haiti. I added that the Haitian Government now only had an external debt of 11 million dollars, while it had annual receipts of 6½ million dollars, and, therefore, that it should be able to do this financing which would solve this entire entanglement matter which I deplored as much as anybody and from which my government was extremely anxious to release itself.

The Haitian Delegation at Montevideo went away apparently pleased with this suggestion, but a few days later they returned and wanted to know if some other method of disentanglement could not be arrived at. I again repeated the anxious desire of my government to get released from this special relationship with Haiti which arose many years ago, and that in every possible way at the earliest possible date the United States Government would take steps to disentangle itself. I then added that, of course, at that time being many thousand miles away from the records in the matter, I could not possibly know what contractual obligations had been entered into by the United States Government and Haiti which might hinder and delay the removal of these involvements by any other method than that of new financing, but that as soon as I returned to Washington I would undertake to go over the entire records and see what the contractual obligations were and in any event would work out and develop every possible step that could now be taken without violating our solemn contractual obligations, and that we were as anxious as they to take such steps.

C[ordell] H[ull]