Memorandum of Plan for Dealing With the Question of Financial Control, Drawn Up by the Haitian Minister for Finance (Hibbert) and the Fiscal Representative of the Republic of Haiti (De la Rue)
(1) Creation by the Government of the United States of an Export-Import Bank, having for its object the increase in commerce between Haiti and the United States of America.
(2) Creation by the Republic of Haiti of a Haitian Trade Corporation, which would be also a branch of the National Bank of Haiti.
(3) Purchase of the Banque Nationale de la République d’Haiti.
(4) The entering into of a new commercial treaty between the United States and Haiti, which would have for its object the increase in Haitian purchasing power in the United States.
(5) Loan from the Export-Import Bank to the Haitian Trade Corporation of $3,000,000 needed to permit the taking over and operating of the Banque Nationale by the Government.
(6) Security to be offered is the credit of the Republic of Haiti and the stock of the Banque Nationale:
- $3,000,000 was advanced to be reimbursed by terms to be agreed upon;
- Amount of interest to be agreed upon.
(7) The Banque Nationale, upon its being purchased, shall be controlled by a Board of Governors consisting of six members, one of whom shall be the Secretary of the Treasury. All other members shall be nominated by the President of Haiti for a period of service of ten years. The Secretary of the Treasury and one other Haitian shall be selected by the President of Haiti, and the Secretary of the Treasury will be the President of the Board of Governors. Four experts shall be recommended to the President of Haiti by the Director of the Export-Import Bank and by the Fiscal Agent of the 1922 Loan. Of these experts each shall be competent and experienced in his particular field. They shall constitute the other members of the Board of Governors.
Of the four experts—
One shall be designated as the Governor of the National Bank;
One shall be Director of commercial business of the Bank;
One shall be Director of the services of the Bank having to do with the Treasury; and
One shall be Inspector General of all of the affairs of the Bank and its branches.
The purpose of the above arrangement is to establish a complete independence of the Bank from political control and this plan is to continue until the complete liquidation of the Loan of 1922.
(8) The powers of the Bank briefly shall be as follows:
- Control of all commercial exchange documents between Haiti and foreign countries, however, taking account of the vested rights of the Royal Bank of Canada in Port-au-Prince;
- Control of monetary policy of the Government;
- Maintenance of the privileges now provided by the contract between the Bank and the Government, except as otherwise herein specified;
- Taking over by the Bank of the present powers of the Fiscal Representative.
The carrying on by the Bank of the service control of customs audit and of contributions audit (Controle des Bordereaux). The bank shall demand within a period of thirty days after receipt of any Bordereaux that any supplementary chargé shall be made by the Chief of the Service of the Customs, or that any internal revenue tax bill found incorrect shall be corrected by demand to the Chief of the Internal Revenue Service within a like period of time.[Page 351]
In case of disaccord between the Bank and the Chief of Customs or Internal Revenue Service with reference to supplemental tax bills, the Secretary of the State of Finance will decide.
(9) Engagements of the Haitian Government to safeguard the interests of the bondholders of the 1922 Loan.
To fix no later than the 31st of January each year an estimate of the total receipts of the Republic for the following fiscal year in collaboration with the Secretary of the Treasury and the Board of Governors of the Bank.
To maintain the budget within the limits of this estimate.
To maintain the expenses within the total of the receipts or in case of a probable deficit to cover the same by the creation of new revenues or by the reduction of expenditures to the amount of the receipts, or by both means at once.
Not to increase the public debt except by refunding operation.
Not to create supplementary or extraordinary credits unless there are funds available over and above budget requirements.
Not to pass one-twelfth of the total expenditures provided in the budget for recurring monthly expenses except as provided by the present law of finance.
To establish civil service in the customs and internal revenue.
(10) Bank shall make monthly and annual reports.
(11) Series B and C of the Loan of 1922 are to be exchanged for bonds of Series A as rapidly as this can be accomplished for the purpose of reducing the budget requirements by the amount now being budgeted for these two loans.
(12) The Government will agree to contract to pay to the Banque Nationale an allowance equal to 2½ per cent of the customs receipts and three per cent of the internal revenue receipts to permit the bank to cover the new expenses contemplated and perform the services required, these amounts being tentatively suggested at this time. In case they are not sufficient they will be increased.
The Board of Governors of the Bank will arrive at an agreement with the Conseil des Secretaires d’Etat as to the maximum number of foreigners to be employed by the Bank outside of the four members of the Board of Governors, it being understood that the necessary men to carry on the work contemplated are to be employed.
The Bank will, of course, no longer receive the one per cent on the receipts because this amount has been increased as above.
(13) For the service of the 1922 Loan there will be irrevocably assigned to the Bank the right to deduct from the receipts of the Government on deposit the necessary monies for the service of the debt.
The Government will irrevocably agree during the continuation of this plan to continue the Bank as its sole depositary and bank of issue.[Page 352]
Until the total amount of the advance for the purchase of the Bank has been repaid the Government will contract to maintain its ordinary operating budget at 32,000,000 gourdes.