838.51/2964: Telegram

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

68. My 67, August 23, 9 a.m. It is now confirmed that the Legislature is to meet August 26. When I saw the Minister for Foreign Affairs this morning I asked him if I could consider this morning’s communiqué official and he said it was not but that its broad lines including the figures were correct. He states that the Haitian Government realized that until the 1922 loan was retired it could not go ahead with any financial operation and that it was proposed to do so with this loan and that the Haitian Government hoped for the active and sympathetic concurrence of the American Government in respect to this proposal; that he expected early next week to give me the full details of the plan.

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The Foreign Minister indicated that in the circumstances Haiti was not momentarily interested in renewing the negotiations of the Haitian-American treaty. While he stated that he was not yet authorized to give me all the details, I asked him if he could give me certain information which I believed would particularly interest my Government. One, whether there had been any change in connection with this proposed loan with respect to Haitian policy as regards further payments of the 1910 loan. He assured me that there had been and would be no change in this regard. Two, if the group was, as I supposed, foreign what security was to be given them and specifically whether any form of financial control was to be tendered given this foreign group.

He replied that although the Entrepreneur Debachy was French, Debachy himself proposed to have the capital subscribed internationally. He assured me that while the new loan would form a first charge of the customs and other revenue when the 1922 loan had been retired, no foreign officials were to be introduced, and that if it were a question of foreign control they would prefer that it be American. I pointed out to him that it had been repeatedly stated by French officials that no further loan was possible in France until the 1910 loan had been disposed of.

He concluded the interview by reaffirming the President’s personal gratitude to President Roosevelt and his earnest hope for active American concurrence in this new financial operation.

… I learned further that he [Debachy] has not been to call at the French Legation. He was accompanied to Haiti by the Counsellor of the Haitian Legation in Paris and by the Engineer in Chief of the Haitian public works.

No money appears to have been put up by the intermediary and the whole scheme appears to be merely to obtain authorization for a contract to allow Debachy to seek out his capital.

  1. Telegram in two sections.