611.3831/141: Telegram

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

8. Your 18, March 19, 9 a.m. Blanchet discussed with us on March 16 the situation regarding the Trade Agreement. We assured him of the Department’s good offices with the French Government in an effort to prevent Haiti being forced into a position by the French demands which would make it impossible for Haiti to put into effect an unconditional most-favored-nation Trade Agreement with the United States. We expressed the view to Blanchet, with which he was in entire agreement, that Haiti would be in a much stronger position vis-à-vis France if we proceeded to the signature of the Trade Agreement. We have, of course, contemplated the possibility that the French attitude towards Haiti may prove to be such that Haiti may in fact have to advise us later on that she will be unable to put our Trade Agreement into effect. In such event, however, the responsibility would be on France for preventing the consummation of a fair and equitable Trade Agreement between Haiti and the United States.

We understand that Blanchet is awaiting confirmation of his authorization to sign the Trade Agreement and we are making tentative plans to proceed with signature today or tomorrow.

Regarding the bank sale contract, we are now awaiting word from the National City Bank through Lancaster, who is expected back in New York the 20th, regarding the attitude the bank proposes to take.