838.51/3445: Telegram

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

75. My 73, September 4, noon. Leger sent for me this morning and said that he had just terminated a conversation with the French [Page 590]Minister to Haiti. The latter had been instructed by his Government to say that in view of the divorce of the 1910 question from that of the commercial convention, conditions had now changed and the French Government was unwilling to proceed with the signature of the convention as it now stands. They are now willing only to take Haitian coffee to a value of twice that of Haitian imports of French products. In effect this would reduce the proposed Haitian coffee quota from 120,000 quintals to about 40,000.

Leger said he had been very angry at this further evidence of French pettiness if not duplicity; that the convention as it stands had been negotiated point by point with the approval of the Quai d’Orsay; and that 40,000 quintals is so small a quota as to be practically worthless. He would never go as far as he had in the draft convention for so insignificant a benefit. He then said that he informed De Kuli that he was leaving Haiti for the United States (see my telegram 74, September 7, noon5) within 8 or 10 days. He was ready and willing to sign the convention as it stands before his departure. If it were so concluded within that period he would see to it that nothing further would be done about it during his absence which might be for 2 or 3 months. De Kuli promised to cable his Government today.

  1. Not printed.