838.51/2789

The Secretary of State to the Haitian Minister (Blanchet)

Sir: I have to acknowledge the receipt of your note of January 12, 1934, informing me that you had been instructed by your Government to negotiate an arrangement with a view to terminating the financial administration now exercised in Haiti under the provisions of the Agreement of August 7, 1933.

In the statement which I made to the Haitian Delegation on board the S. S. American Legion on November 27, 1933, I stated that the American Government would agree to and would welcome an arrangement which would result in withdrawal of American governmental action in financial control in Haiti, and that the American Government would be ready to accept an arrangement along such lines if worked out [Page 347]in agreement with the present bondholders. I said that it would be preferable for the Haitian Government to approach the Fiscal Agents in regard to putting such a plan in effect, rather than for the American Government to take the initiative to that end. I added that the American Government would be glad to lend its good offices in the matter in any way that would not involve it in any further responsibilities in Haiti. Furthermore, in the letter addressed to President Vincent on November 29, 1933, President Roosevelt said that

“Under Article XXVI of the Agreement of August 7 last, Haiti, with the approval of the United States, reserved the right to retire the bonds before their due date provided she could make an arrangement for this purpose satisfactory to the holders of the bonds. The United States Government would be glad to lend its good offices in the matter in any way which would not involve it in any further responsibilities in Haiti.”

As I explained to the Haitian Delegation, a refunding operation which would retire the present bonds in agreement with the bondholders, and which would not involve the American Government in any further responsibilities in Haiti, would appear to be the first and most logical move for the solution so much desired by both the Haitian and the American Governments, namely, the withdrawal of American financial control in Haiti. In this connection, I should be pleased to learn what steps your Government is taking to explore the possibility of a refunding operation. This Government will, as already stated, be glad to lend its good offices in the matter in any way that will not involve it in any further responsibilities in Haiti.

Accept [etc.]

Cordell Hull