638.5131/82: Telegram

The Chargé in Haiti ( Chapin ) to the Secretary of State

61. The Minister for Foreign Affairs sent for me this morning to request me to transmit to the Secretary of State the sincere thanks of President Vincent and the Haitian Government for his efforts assisting in securing a renewal of the Franco-Haitian Trade Agreement.43 In transmitting these thanks the Minister stated that the Haitian Government very much hoped that the American Government would not limit itself to this assistance which had been given but would be prepared to extend its further good offices for Haiti in the future.

The Minister explained this request by saying that the renewed agreement with France was not assured as he had understood at first and as he had informed me, definitely for a full year but that the faculty of denouncing the treaty on 1 month’s notice could be availed of by either party at any time. He said that they had received information from the Haitian Legation in Paris to the effect that the French officials were exceedingly angry at Haiti because of the active good offices exercised by the United States and that he was afraid that the French would seize upon any suitable excuse to denounce the Treaty. More specifically he voiced the fear that the French Government, which was apparently insistent upon the gold service of the 1910 loan, would, anticipating an unfavorable report from Haiti, at the end of the agreed 3 months from the signature of the extension, [Page 667] denounce the Treaty early in the fall. He stated quite frankly that the Haitian Government’s primary interest was in assuring a market for its 1935 coffee crop and that if by one means or another the effect of the agreement could be prolonged up until January they would be quite satisfied. He reiterated Haiti’s intention to stand firm on the 1910 loan question but said that he hoped that the United States would not only be prepared to give its good offices but might, in case of necessity, even intervene on Haiti’s behalf before the French Government.

I told him that, as my personal opinion, while I could appreciate the fears of the Haitian Government, it did not seem to me that the probabilities were as grave as he seemed to anticipate, but that I would, in accordance with his request, cable them to the Department.

Prior to my departure, the Minister raised—apparently under instructions from the President—the question of the Treaty between the United States and Haiti, which was to complement the bank sale contract. He said that he supposed it depended in part upon whether the Senate was in session, and I told him that my information was that the Senate would adjourn in a very few days.

  1. Effected by an exchange of notes, July 5; France, Journal Officiel: Lois et Décrets, July 8–9, 1935, p. 7326.