611.3831/116: Telegram

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

6. Department’s telegram No. 3, January 22, 6 p.m. I have seen Hibbert and brought contents of telegram to his attention. This he states is his problem: France and Italy both demand special tariff treatment as compensation for maintaining markets for Haitian coffee. Italy has already placed an embargo on Haitian coffee pending agreement by Haiti with her tariff proposals. A French representative is expected here shortly to negotiate a new treaty and all indications are that France will demand more in the way of special treatment than conceded in avenant signed last year. These countries are the principal exponents of the donnant donnant doctrine. France particularly—and France takes the bulk of Haitian coffee—will not be satisfied [Page 645] with tariff concessions granted them in return for keeping their market open if such concessions are to be enjoyed equally by all others. Haiti cannot refuse France and Italy without losing her coffee market which would be economic suicide. And yet if the Haitian Government agrees to article VII as proposed they will have to meet France and Italy with their hands tied. He hopes we appreciate the desperate situation in which they find themselves. They do not wish to go against principles decided upon at Montevideo and if we can suggest any formula which would overcome the difficulty they will be only too glad to subscribe to it. Otherwise his first reaction is that the negotiations will have to be abandoned. Pixley was present at the interview of which full memorandum10 sent air mail today.

  1. Dated January 23, not printed.