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

No. 253

Sir: I have the honor to inform the Department that the Fiscal Representative, Mr. de la Rue, informed me this morning that, from recent conversations he has had with M. Hibbert, the Minister of Finance, Mr. Laleau, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, and others, he understands that the President will probably shortly take up with me the possibility of having Mr. de la Rue proceed to the United States in connection with negotiations looking toward a bilateral commercial treaty between Haiti and the United States along the lines of those recently concluded by the United States with Colombia and certain other countries.

As I have pointed out to the Department in previous despatches, I feel that Mr. de la Rue’s presence in the United States, both in connection with such a commercial treaty and, even more particularly, in connection with a possible refunding loan along the lines suggested in the President’s letter to President Vincent, might be very useful. In fact, I have every reason to believe that one of the principal purposes the Haitian Government would have in mind in sending him to the United States would be in connection with a refunding loan along the lines recently set forth by M. Hibbert, the Minister of Finance, to Mr. de la Rue. (See enclosure60 to the Legation’s despatch No. 238 of January 16, 1934.)

The Haitian delegation to the Pan American Conference has now returned and the press has announced that its report will shortly be published but, from what I have been told by the President and the Minister for Foreign Affairs, I judge that there has been little change in the situation since that described in previous despatches and that the Haitian Government is still counting upon the good offices of the American Government in helping it to secure a refunding loan.

With a somewhat uncertain internal political situation resulting from a recrudescence—or perhaps it would be more accurate to say continuation—of the ill feeling between the President and the majority of the Senate, I am afraid that the next regular session of the Legislature in April will bring matters to a head and the more that can be done before that time to establish a definite policy with regard to future financial control the better. Just two months remain before the opening of this session and I feel very strongly that the sooner the possibilities of a refunding loan can be thoroughly explored, or any other new mechanism tending to clarify the situation considered, the better.

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I should therefore appreciate receiving by telegraph an indication of the Department’s views with regard to having Mr. de la Rue proceed to the United States should the Haitian Government indicate a desire to have him do so.

Respectfully yours,

Norman Armour
  1. Not printed.