The Secretary of State to the Chargé in Haiti (Finley)
45. In his interview with the French Chargé d’Affaires6 this morning, Mr. Duggan outlined briefly to him the developments of the past 3 weeks as respects the Franco-Haitian Commercial Convention and the 1910 loan. While the precise terms of the proposed Franco-Haitian Commercial Convention, the text of which was forwarded in your despatch no. 548 of September 4,5 were not discussed, Mr. Duggan alluded to the Haitian disappointment at the proposed reduction in a new Convention of the Haitian coffee quota from 120,000 to 40,000 quintals.
Mr. Henry said that he understood fully the attitude of this Government with respect to Haiti and stated further that Bonnet7 on his departure had told Henry that he knew that the French official insistence on the 1910 loan had been “a source of irritation to the American Government” and that he, Bonnet, proposed to take the [Page 591]matter up strongly with Delbos on his return. Accordingly Henry felt that the decision of the French Government to disassociate the two questions had been to some extent influenced by Bonnet’s representations.
Mr. Henry expressed some surprise that following the decision to disassociate the two questions the French Government had instructed the Minister in Port au Prince to reduce the coffee quota in a new Convention and inferred that in this case perhaps the subordinate officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs were taking action not fully in accord with the decision of Delbos. Henry said that now that he had the facts of the case, he would immediately despatch a strong telegram to Paris. He inquired whether it would be satisfactory to this Government if France should agree to sign the previously negotiated Franco-Haitian Commercial Convention. Mr. Duggan stated that that Convention apparently was satisfactory to Haiti and therefore would in general fulfill our interest in this matter, although he was not in a position to give an opinion as to this Government’s attitude with respect to the other terms of that Convention.
The Department has made a cursory examination of the trade clauses contained in the proposed Franco-Haitian Convention forwarded under your despatch no. 548. At an early opportunity you should inform the Foreign Minister that while this Government reserves the right to comment on certain provisions of this treaty as they may affect Haitian-American trade, this Government fully expects that in accordance with the Haitian-American trade agreement of March 28, 1935,8 American merchandise similar in nature to French merchandise mentioned in the Franco-Haitian Commercial Convention would receive treatment no less favorable than the French merchandise in question.
At the same time you may outline to the Haitian Minister for Foreign Affairs our general attitude as set forth in the Department’s telegram no. 21 of June 20, 1935, 2 p.m.9 with respect to such special demands as may be made by France for its commercial products.