611.3831/124: Telegram

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

7. Your 13, February 23, noon. In de la Rue’s letter to Wilson of February 20 he stated that the Haitian Government was not satisfied with our draft of Article IV of the General Provisions because it would permit Haiti to increase the internal tax on imported cigarettes. In the French text of the proposed agreement enclosed with de la Rue’s letter the language of Article IV has been changed, but not in such manner as to attain the purpose which the Haitian Government has in mind. The French text states that Haiti is not obliged to “reduce” the present internal tax. We took this up with Blanchet this morning and he recognized that the Haitian redraft does not serve the purpose for which it was apparently intended. We agreed with Blanchet therefore that the Department would telegraph to you, for submission to the Haitian Government, the following suggested changes in the English text of Article IV (copy sent you by Wilson on February 116): for the word “paragraph” in line 7, second sentence, substitute “Article in regard to the granting of national treatment” and add a second paragraph reading as follows:

“Cigarettes originating in the United States of America shall, after importation into the Republic of Haiti, be exempt from all internal taxes, fees, charges or exactions other or higher than those in effect on the day of the signature of this Agreement”.

Please furnish the Haitian Government a copy of Article IV thus redrafted, which would seem to accomplish the purpose that the Haitian Government has in mind. We understand that Blanchet is cabling his Government regarding this re-draft stating that you will furnish the Government with the text thereof.

We have informed Blanchet that we agree to the elimination of Item 9025 of Schedule 1. This morning we went over with Blanchet the English and French texts and are in agreement on a number of small textual changes required in the French text. He stated, however, that he has no authority to accept responsibility for altering the French text as furnished by his Government. The Department therefore is preparing a revised French text which will be forwarded by Saturday’s air mail for the consideration of the Haitian Government. If the Haitian Government can advise the Department by Friday of its approval of the re-draft of Article IV as stated hereinabove, we will be able to send a complete revised French text by Saturday’s air mail.

We have agreed with Blanchet to issue to the press at the time of [Page 649] signature a summary of the general provisions of the agreement and full information regarding the schedules. The full text of the agreement would be published at a subsequent date agreed upon with the Haitian Government.

  1. Not found in Department files.