838.516/310: Telegram

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

96. Regular session of the Legislature adjourned at midnight last night without the Senate having reported the bank contract out of the committee appointed to consider it. The pretext given for refusal to vote even on the principle of the contract as the Government had hoped they would do was that they must await the meeting of the stockholders September 9 to ratify the sale of the bank.

Just what will be the next step is somewhat uncertain. In a talk with the President he told me that he was still undecided as to whether to call special session in late October or to have the matter put up to the nation as a whole through a plebiscite. I have urged him against this second course as outlined in my despatch 403 of August 29.82 The [Page 369] Minister for Foreign Affairs tells me today that he feels reasonably certain the President will put the contract up squarely to the Legislature in a special session called for that purpose in late October. Whether the President will present the contract as signed with the bank or will ask the bank to agree to reasonable modifications that he, the President, feels will make it more acceptable to the Legislature has not, I think, been decided upon.

I shall be in Washington Tuesday morning September 10. Please repeat the substance of the above to De la Rue.

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